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Full text of "Past and present of Winneshiek county, Iowa; a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement"

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PAST AND PRESENT 

OF 

Winneshiek County 

IOWA 



A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and 
Achievement 



ILLUSTRATED 



* 



VOLUME II 



CHICAGO 

THE S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY 

1913 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

6386 

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BIOGRAPHICAL 



B. ANUNDSEN. 



It is a trite saying that all the world loves a lover, but its fundamental idea 
is true. The world loves a lover — an enthusiast of something that he places 
high above the humdrum of mere material attainment. The world loves a man 
of an ideal who fights for the realization of a sublime inspiration vehemently 
and unselfishly, and it is this strong sympathy that men extend to lofty and 
noble characters which made the late B. Anundsen of Decorah beloved by all 
who knew him and kept him in the hearts of his Norseland countrymen. A 
man who had but meager advantages of education, he became by self-study — 
not of books as much as of human nature — one of the well informed men of 
his day, a man who foremost understood the folk-character of his Norseland 
friends and who upon coming to this country set out to found for them a paper 
to their liking, a medium which would keep alive in them the noble and strong 
spirit of the Vikings, which would make for truer, stronger and better man- 
hood, which would foster the family spirit, which would be entertainer, 
instructor and guiding friend. That he succeeded, thereof stands in proof 
the Decorah Posten, a publication ideal in its perception, of powerful influence 
on mind and character, a true family paper, its circulation far extending over 
Winneshiek county, over the state, over the United States, even into other 
parts of the world. The Decorah Posten, of which Mr. Anundsen was the 
publisher and sole owner, has the largest circulation of any Scandinavian pub- 
lication on the face of the earth, and it is remarkable that it attained its fore- 
most position by the inspiration and ambition of a youth. 

Mr. Anundsen was born in Skien, Norway, on December 29, 1844. °f poor, 
honest parentage, and what little education he enjoyed in his youth was secured 
in the common schools of his native country. The spirit of the Vikings stirred 
his soul and when twenty years of age his ambition led him to start out to 
conquer new fields. Naturally he turned to the land where he perceived the 
greatest opportunity — America, — first coming to Canada, leaving his native 
country on March 22, 1864, and arriving in Quebec on April 7th of the same 
year. The same month marks his arrival in Milwaukee, but he finally located in 
La Crosse, Wisconsin, on Monday, the first day of August, 1864. There, in 
1866, he conceived the idea of publishing a literary magazine for his country- 
men in America, and the Ved Arnen (By the Fireside) had its birth. This 
was the seed from which the Decorah Posten has sprung. In its beginning 

5 



6 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

the magazine had sixty subscribers and with its publication began the first of 
many years of hardship for Mr. Anundsen, in trying to keep alive a worthy 
literary journal. His able wife devotedly helped him not only in his struggles 
in La Crosse but even after Air. Anundsen located in Decorah, and much 
credit is due her for the great success which was to be his. On Friday, Decem- 
ber 13, 1867, he and his wife loaded their printing press, type and household 
goods in two wagons and left La Crosse for Decorah, reaching this city on 
December 15, 1867. The country was still deeply suffering from the wounds 
of the Civil war and years of struggle ensued, which in 1870 compelled Mr. 
Anundsen on account of poor support to cease publication, although he had 
at that time fourteen hundred subscribers, of whom many, however, were 
unable to pay their subscriptions. On September 18. 1874, the first number 
of the Decorah Posten made its appearance. In its infancy more obstacles 
had to be overcome, more years of struggle had to be lived through, but the 
natural ability of Mr. Anundsen won the day and he finally guided his publi- 
cation to a position beyond the danger point. Today two and a half tons of 
papers leave the office per week for all parts of the world, and the plant of 
the Decorah Posten is considered a model of its kind and one of the best 
equipped in Iowa. Mr. Anundsen entered upon newspaper publication at a 
period when the purpose of journalism had its educational feature in addi- 
tion to the dissemination of general news and had not yet been tinged with 
the commercial spirit of the age, which seeks through sensationalism to stimu- 
late the curiosity of the public withou£ regard to wrong impressions. He never 
deviated from the high principles which he set up or lowered standards because 
he considered it expedient or profitable to do so, and his policy was ever in 
keeping with the high standard which has ever been maintained by the paper. 
In November, 1910, Mr. Anundsen suffered a severe attack of illness which 
forced him to give up his editorial duties and he was confined to the house 
until his death on March 25, 1913, although his directing hand yet touched 
during that time here and there upon the policies and management of his pub- 
lication. 

On October 26, 1865, Mr. Anundsen was married in La Crosse, Wiscon- 
sin, to Esther Mathilde Charlotte Hofstrom, a native of Sweden. Through 
years of business struggles and straitened circumstances she was his help and 
inspiration. She was born May 28, 1838, and lived to see their joint work 
grow to success. She died in Decorah, January 2, 1899. Their children were 
five, of whom but one is living, Frederick Haddorph, born December 9, 1872, who 
married Miss Emma C. Hegg, of Decorah and is advertising manager of the 
Decorah Posten. The deceased members of the family are : Ludwig Nathaniel, 
born December 30, 1866; Arthur Fernando, born January 12, 1868; Louise Ma- 
thilde, born September 13, 1870, and Emily Sophie, born December 18, 1874. On 
September 10, 1901, Mr. Anundsen married Miss Helma Beatha Hegg, of Decorah. 
a daughter of Hans and Johanna (Houg) Hegg, natives of Norway. The father 
was a harness-maker by trade, the parents coming to Decorah early in the history 
of the city. Here the father for many years was engaged in the harness business. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 7 

being highly esteemed and respected in commercial and social circles. He died 
in Decorah in 1878, his wife surviving him until November 6, 1907. To B. and 
Helma Beatha (Hegg) Anundsen was born, on June 16, 1902, one son, Brynjulf 
Bjorkholt, a student in the Decorah public schools. Mrs. Anundsen presides with 
loving care over her household, being a devoted mother and finding her greatest 
happiness with those dear to her. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Anundsen as readily conceived the true 
American spirit of citizenship as he understood the spirit of his native country. 
While active in life he could always be found in the front rank of those who 
seek moral and material betterment for their fellowmen and has perhaps done 
more along these lines than any one man in Winneshiek county. He gave his 
adherence to the republican party, upholding the principles and policies which 
made possible the rapid rise of the republic. He was a member of the United 
Lutheran church of Decorah, in the work of which he always took helpful 
interest, which is continued by his wife. For years he was a member of the 
Decorah school board, always exerting his influence in the cause of education. 
Among his countrymen in the United States Mr. Anundsen was very popular. 
This is especially true in his relation to his colleagues in the Scandinavian- 
American press. When, in 1895, the Norwegian-Danish Press Association of 
the United States was organized he was unanimously chosen president, a posi- 
tion he held for a number of years, and would have held for a number of years 
more, had he not insisted on being relieved from its duties. Mr. Anundsen 
was one of the organizers of the national Norwegian society, Det Norske 
Selskab i Amerika, founded for the purpose of perpetuating among the Nor- 
wegian-Americans the interest in Norwegian culture and literature. He was 
its first president, and was reelected to that position until he finally declined. 
He continued one of its directors until his death, being one of its stanch sup- 
porters, also, when funds were needed in order to carry out its aims. For many 
years he was also a prominent figure in the Symra and Luren Norwegian 
societies, where are fostered those stalwart characteristics peculiar to the peo- 
ple of the northern kingdom and where is kept alive the spirit of brotherhood 
between the Norwegian residents of this section, he being among the foremost 
to preach devotion and veneration of native land and loyalty to the newly 
found home. In 1899 the Decorah Posten had its twenty-fifth anniversary. 
On this occasion Mr. Anundsen was honored by citizens of Decorah and non-resi- 
dents alike, speeches at a banquet being made in his honor by some of the most 
prominent men of his nationality in the country. In 1906 Mr. Anundsen 
visited his native land, being the object of marked attention while there. Upon 
his return he was made a knight of the Order of St. Olaf by Norway's elected 
king, Haakon. Mr. Anundsen always manifested the most distinguished pub- 
lic spirit in supporting worthy enterprises, contributing liberally to any good 
cause of a public or charitable nature. Especially was he interested in young 
men, and youths trying to obtain an education without the necessary means 
always found a responding heart in him. Mr. Anundsen's name is deeply 
engraved in the annals of Decorah and Winneshiek county, where he was 
beloved and venerated by old and young, high and low, and no death in many 
years has caused a greater sorrow throughout this county and state than his. 



8 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

LAUR LARSEN, D. D. 

Dr. Laur Larsen, who wears the insignia of a knight of the Order of St. 
Olaf, an honor conferred upon him by the king of Norway, and who for forty- 
one years was president of Luther College of Decorah, is an eminent educator 
and minister of the Lutheran church whose far-reaching and beneficial influences 
are immeasurable by any known standard of man. That his life has wrought 
for good in the field of educational and moral progress is indicated by the hun- 
dreds who have sat under his teaching as he has addressed pupils in the class- 
room or congregations from the pulpit. His work of uplift and benefit continued 
during the period of his connection with journalism, and who can say where 
it will end, for association with him means elevation and expansion and all who 
come in contact with him feel the inspiration that comes from his high moral 
character and lofty ideals. With all this he is intensely human in his interests 
and his sympathies, and it has been his spirit of kindliness as well as his marked 
intellectual force that has enabled him to accomplish the great work which he 
has done. 

Dr. Larsen was born at Christiansand, Norway, August 10, 1833, and is 
therefore eighty years of age. His father was an army officer and his mother 
the daughter of one of the framers of the Norwegian constitution of 1814. 
Liberal educational opportunities were accorded him, and following his gradua- 
tion from the theological department of the University of Christiania in 1855, 
he worked for two years as a teacher of languages in Christiania. The great 
field offered for Christian service in America proved to him an irresistible call 
and in 1X57 he came to the new world, spending two years in missionary work 
in the Norwegian settlements of Rush River, Pierce and in adjacent counties 
in Wisconsin. Until 1859 the Norwegian Lutherans of this country had pro- 
cured pastors for their congregations from Norway. As the number of Nor- 
wegian immigrants increased from year to year, the necessity of founding 
an institution for the education of their own ministers became more and more 
apparent. The ideas of these early Norwegian pioneers were similar to those 
of the earlv pilgrims who founded Harvard College. It was Dr. Larsen who 
was destined to carry this idea to its fulfillment. The first fruition was the 
founding in 1859 of a Norwegian professorship at the Concordia Seminary, a 
German theological institution in St. Louis. Dr. Larsen was called as professor 
to fill this position and moved to St. Louis, where he lectured principally on the 
Hebrew language. When in 186 1 the war necessitated the closing of the sem- 
inary the Norwegian population of the middle west decided to establish their own 
institutions of learning, with the result that Luther College came into existence 
and Dr. Larsen was called upon to act as its first president. He entered upon 
his duties at Halfway Creek, Wisconsin, on the nth of September, 1861. The 
following year the school was removed to Decorah, and at the commencement 
exercises of the college in 1911, fifty years after its founding, he was made 
president emeritus of the institution. During the forty-one years of his incum- 
bency as president even his great capacity for work was put to severe tests. 
During the years 1876 to 1903 he served as vice president of the Lutheran 
synod. He assisted the pastors of the Decorah congregation, when called upon 
to do so, and was often called upon to fill pulpits on occasions of importance to 




LAUR LARSEN 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 11 

the church. From 1882 to 1884 he served the Lutheran congregation at Decorah 
as its pastor. In the years 1868-1888 he was editor-in-chief of Kirketidende, a 
work he was again asked to resume when he resigned his position as president. 
At the beginning of January, 19 13, he turned over this work to his successor 
and is now enjoying a well earned rest having the distinction of being Decorah's 
foremost citizen and the "grand old man" of the Lutheran synod. Dr. Larsen 
is the oldest educator among Norwegians of America. He has exerted a great 
influence on the life and thought of his countrymen through his work as a 
teacher, pastor and editor, and there is hardly a person of Norwegian descent 
in America who does not know him personally or by reputation. He is now 
living in retirement near the college where he spent the best years of his life. 
His home is a large and imposing residence, a gift to him from old students and 
friends, made in 1897. On the occasion of the celebration of the semi-centennial 
of the founding of the Lutheran synod the Concordia seminary of St. Louis 
conferred on him the degree of D. D. and later on the king of Norway made 
him a knight of the Order of St. Olaf. The recognition of his life work has 
thus come to him from the sovereign of his native land — an honor well merited. 
The chief testimonial of his labors, however, is found in the lives of the hun- 
dreds of students who, prompted by his teachings, have gone out in the world to 
uphold the high ideals which he inculcated in their lives, thus proving their 
worth as factors in the citizenship of America and as elements in the great 
civilizing force which is slowly but surely making the world better. 



WILLIAM H. SMITH. 



William H. Smith, after a long and successful agricultural career, lives 
retired in Decorah, enjoying in well earned rest a comfortable competence. For 
many years he was engaged actively in farming a four hundred acre tract of land 
in Bluffton township, being one of the important factors in the agricultural 
development of Winneshiek county. A native of England, he was born on 
March 21, 1837, a son of William and Sarah (Hutton) Smith, both natives 
of the mother country. The father was a tailor by trade and passed away in 
his native land. In 1855 the mother and six of her children crossed the 
Atlantic to the United States and, coming to Winneshiek county, made their 
home with George, an elder brother of our subject, who had previously come to 
the United States in the late '40s, taking up a large tract of government land 
in Canoe township, this county. Subsequently the mother purchased forty 
acres of land, her son William H. taking charge and remaining with her until 
her demise in 1862. 

He is the youngest of seven children, the remainder all having passed away. 
He received his education in England, coming to the United States when 
eighteen years of age and locating in this county, where he later engaged in 
farming. He purchased a small farm and as his means increased extended 
its borders until he today owns four hundred valuable acres of land on sections 
13 and 14, Bluffton township. Mr. Smith successfully carried on general agri- 
cultural pursuits, specializing in stock-raising and, employing modern and up-to- 



12 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

date methods, derived a substantial annual income from his property. Obstacles 
had to be overcome in the beginning, but by endurance and industry he suc- 
ceeded in the development of a valuable farm upon which can be found high- 
class improvements and modern and up-to-date equipment. In 1901 Mr. Smith 
was enabled to retire from active farm work and he has since resided in Decorah, 
renting out his land. He is one of the highly esteemed citizens of that city 
and has become connected with its financial life as a stockholder in the Citizens 
Savings Bank. He has never actively participated in politics but is a strong 
republican and gave his undivided support to President Taft. He attends the 
Episcopal church, in the work of which he takes an active interest. His six 
brothers and sisters, all now deceased were, George, Sarah, Clara, Rebecca, 
Mathilda and Ann. Mr. Smith is highly respected and esteemed in Decorah, 
where he is widely and favorably known for his many good qualities of mind 
and character. 



BEN BEAR. 



The prosperity of a section is due to the collaboration of many, but among 
them always stand forth a few who on account of their attainments are entitled 
to special mention. Ben Bear, who is closely connected with a number of the 
most important commercial interests of Decorah and Winneshiek county, is one 
of these and while he has attained individual success and must be considered 
today one of the most substantial men of this part of the state, he has by his 
labors also largely contributed to general advancement and development. A 
native of Germany, he was born in 1853 m Hohebach, Wurtemberg. His father 
was Jacob Bear and his mother before her marriage was Rose Tannebaum. a 
member of one of the prominent families of that section of Wurtemberg. The 
father also was a man of affairs in his native land where he was extensively 
engaged in the grain and wool business. 

Ben Bear attended school in Germany until thirteen years of age, when the 
spirit to will and to do seized him and, believing he would find a greater field 
of opportunitv in the new world, he came at that early age to America. He 
made the trip on the steamship Hermann of the North German Lloyd, the jour- 
ney consuming four weeks. Indication of the spirit that then dominated him 
and has continued to influence his life is found in the fact that this United 
States citizen-to-be arrived in New York on a Saturday afternoon at four o'clock, 
and seven o'clock the next morning found him installed as errand boy in the 
general store of Rosenthal & Sulzberger, doing business at the corner of Fourth 
street and Avenue D. Industry and ambition were the keynote of his code and 
as his willingness to work, his devotion to the business and his ability became 
recognized he rose successively in this establishment until he became general 
manager, the period of his connection with this firm covering the years from 
1867 until 1876. A determination to be master of his own business prompted 
Mr. Bear to seek a location in the middle west early in the latter year, his fore- 
sight enabling him to recognize the possibilities of that great and yet thinly 
peopled region. Somehow he had heard of Decorah and he decided upon this 




y^^@e 




PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 15 

place as a likely location. Arriving here in the twilight of a March day, he was 
out early the next morning before most people had greeted the new day and 
rented from the late Cyrus Adams the old wooden structure that occupied a 
portion of the ground which is now covered by Mr. Bear's magnificent store 
building, and there he opened a clothing store. This act was thoroughly char- 
acteristic of the man. The following year the building was destroyed by fire 
but, not daunted by this disaster, Mr. Bear immediately occupied the Asseln 
building, now used as the Morrison furniture store, but when .Mr. Adams re- 
built on his lot Mr. Bear moved back to his original location, and has continued 
to occupy it since that time. Several years ago he purchased the property and 
lots adjoining and as his business grew he enlarged his quarters, making his 
store one of the largest and best of its kind in Iowa. In the direction of this 
large establishment with its many departments he displays that management 
which only comes from a master mind. The organization is considered one of 
the most efficient and thorough, and Mr. Bear's methods serve as an example to 
others. The sales force of the establishment is discriminately selected by Mr. 
Bear, who has fomented a spirit of cooperation among his employes and the man- 
agement, which is seldom to be found in such large institutions. 

In 1884 Mr. Bear was married to Miss Antonia Homberger, of New York, 
and his family life is ideal in its happiness. Three children were born to them: 
Gertrude, the wife of D. S. Benjamin, of Springfield, Illinois; Dot, who married 
S. G. Heller, of Chicago; and Alexander, who makes his home in New York. 
In his household warm hospitality is bestowed upon friend and guest and kind- 
ness and consideration for those upon whom fortune has not smiled is a precept 
that is practiced in its best and most helpful sense. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Bear's record in regard to growth and 
improvement is one of which any good citizen might be proud. He has been 
identified with every movement that has tended to upbuild the city and, liberal 
in the expenditure of time and money, has taken the initiative along many 
lines. He was president of Decorah's first electric light company, was active in 
promoting the building of the Winneshiek county courthouse and was an im- 
portant factor in making possible the erection of the Grand Opera House of 
which he is associate manager. He was one of the leading spirits in the build- 
ing of the Winneshiek Hotel and is president of the company that operates this 
first-class house. When the question of a federal building for Decorah came 
up it was he who materially helped in securing the desired location now occupied. 
For several years Mr. Bear was president of the Winneshiek County Fair and 
under his direction it was an unqualified success. At present he is treasurer 
of the Decorah Commercial Club and in fact anything that is undertaken for 
the good of Decorah and Winneshiek county finds a willing spirit in Mr. Bear. 
In his affairs he is prompt, straightforward and businesslike, and in no way 
is this more clearly evidenced than in the conduct of his business. Beginning 
in a small way he has applied incessant industry, keen foresight and fair and 
square methods to his transactions and by his honorable course has built up a 
business that is accorded first place in northeastern Iowa and is favorably known 
throughout this state, Minnesota, the Dakotas and even Montana. In another 
two years Mr. Bear will celebrate his fortieth anniversary of active business life 
in Decorah, an occasion not only of significance to him but to the city at large, 



16 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

who will heartily join in the jubilee. Another side to his life is his interest in 
literature as exemplified by the fact that during his residence in New York he 
was a prominent member of the Irving Literary Union, and was a very active 
participant in an organization known as "The Boys." The term "captain of in- 
dustry" finds justification in the life record of Air. Bear, especially if we apply 
the word industry in its first and original sense, for he is a man who by the 
sheer force of his will, his ability and his initiative has built up an enterprise of 
which the city of Decorah is proud. That his qualities are of a character far 
beyond those possessed by the majority no one doubts, but in manner Mr. Bear 
never indicates that he recognizes or knows aught of his own superiority. Ever 
moving, he has pushed on, never losing sight of the goal before him, conscious 
that his aim was justifiable and his course honorable. The years have proven 
the worth of his labors and his record reflects credit and honor upon the city 
that honors him. 



HARRY J. GREEN. 



Decorah is much indebted for its advancement and expansion, to the enter- 
prise and ability of Harry J. Green, for he is not only foremost as one of the 
progressive newspaper men of the city but has also been closely connected 
with its public life, having served in various important positions and occupying 
at present the executive chair, doing valuable work in promoting public interests. 
Not only has he been prominent in local politics but has actively participated 
in the affairs of the nation as a member of important republican committees 
and conventions. He was born in Wyoming county, Iowa, August 3, 1875. the 
third son of the Rev. and Mrs. H. H. Green, and in his boyhood days removed 
with his parents successively to Toledo, Nashua, Janesville, Plainfield and 
Epworth, Iowa, at the latter place attending Epworth Seminary. In 1890 he 
moved with the family to Decorah which has since been his home. After a 
year spent in the Decorah high school he entered the Upper Iowa University 
at Fayette, from which institution he received his diploma and the degree of 
B. A. upon his graduation from the classical course. Returning to Decorah he 
entered the employ of the Decorah Journal to learn the printer's trade and a 
few months later became connected with the Decorah Public Opinion, a new 
paper which was then established in this city. In May, 1896, Mr. Green pur- 
chased a half interest in the paper, F. L. Akers becoming his partner, and this 
relationship continued until April. i<ioo, when he bought out the interest of 
Mr. Akers. Since that time Mr. ( ireen has conducted the paper alone as owner 
and editor, building it up in its various departments until it is now one of the 
most valuable weekly newspaper properties in Iowa. His editorial style is 
clear and to the point and readily conveys to the reader the position the paper 
takes upon any public question. The news service is comprehensive, naturally 
giving to local affairs a wide berth. As the circulation has increased by leaps 
and bounds the advertising space has expanded and the Decorah Public 
Opinion is readily conceded to be one of the most valuable mediums for the 
merchant through which to reach the public. 




HARRY J. GREEN 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 19 

On August 3, 1898, Mr. Green was united in marriage to Miss Allie Tracy 
and unto them were born three children, Marian, Harold and Margery. Mrs. 
Green passed away on May 16, 1911. 

A modern newspaper man and a man of ability, experience, clear percep- 
tion and progressive tendencies, Mr. Green has become well known in lines out- 
side of his profession. He is prominently identified with various fraternal 
organizations. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and was for five years master 
of Great Lights Lodge, No. 181, has served as high priest of King Solomon's 
Chapter, No. 35, R. A. M., and is now captain general of Beausant Com- 
mandery, No. 12, K. T. He is a charter member and was the first foreman of 
Oneota Homestead, Brotherhood of American Yeomen, and is now serving as 
sovereign commander of Decorah Lodge, W. O. W. He was last year Chancellor 
Commander of Decorah Lodge, No. 230, K. P., and at this writing fills for the 
third time the position of exalted ruler of Decorah Lodge, No. 443, B. P. O. E. 
He has held official positions in various other lodges both in local and national 
organizations. In 1901 he was elected commander of the division of Iowa, Sons 
of Veterans,, and in 1906 was one of the organizers of the Homesteaders, a 
fraternal insurance society, and has since that time served as a member of its 
board of directors. 

A man of force and conviction, he has readily attained an important posi- 
tion in political life and served for several years as chairman of the republican 
county central committee, being in 1904 elected delegate from the fourth Iowa 
district to the republican national convention in Chicago. With the interests 
of Decorah he has been closely connected, ever exerting unflagging energy in 
incorporating or promoting measures for the benefit of the city. When the 
park board was created he became one of the first three park commissioners, 
doing valuable work in this capacity towards beautifying the city, having at 
that time charge of the establishment of the present city park, which in its size 
and arrangement is worthy of a city of much larger size and stands as a monu- 
ment to the earnest efforts of the first board, to which Mr. Green belonged. 
As secretary of the Decorah Commercial Club he has done valuable work in 
promoting trade expansion by creating a spirit among its members of working 
together for the general benefit. Upon the death of Mayor F. W. Daubney in 
November, 19 12, he was elected mayor of Decorah and is now bending his 
efforts to wise administration, giving the city the benefit of his long experience 
along public and semi-public lines. A great many measures are now under 
contemplation promoted by him and his term of office gives fair promise of 
being one of the most valuable in furthering the interests of the city along 
material, intellectual and moral lines. 



WILLIAM H. BURTIS. 

William H. Burtis, a prominent and leading citizen of Decorah, has served 
as president and manager of the Upper Iowa Power Company since its organiza- 
tion in 1906. His birth occurred in Saratoga county. New York, on the 4th 
of October, 1868, his parents being William H. and Mary G. (Loper) Burtis, 



20 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

who were likewise natives of the Empire state. The father was a farmer and 
nurseryman there for a number of years but at length his health failed and he 
left the east, taking up his abode in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he resided until 
1887. In that year the family removed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the 
father passed away in 1890. The mother was called to her final rest in 1902. 

William H. Burtis, who was three years of age when taken by his parents 
to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, there began his education and continued it until he had 
completed the high-school course in 1887. The following year he entered the 
University of Minnesota and was graduated from that institution as a member 
of the electrical engineering class of 1892. At that time he embarked in the 
electrical contracting business on his own account in Minneapolis, remaining 
there until 1896, when he removed to Waukon, Allamakee county, Iowa, and 
became associated with the Waukon Electric Light Company, assisting in the 
construction of its plant. In the fall of the same year, however, he came to 
Decorah, Iowa, and erected an electric light plant of which he became president 
and manager. In 1906 he was made president and manager of the newly organ- 
ized Upper Iowa Power Company, which obtained water-power rights upon the 
upper Iowa river. This corporation also took over the business of the Waukon 
Electric Light Company, both plants being now the property of the Upper Iowa 
Power Company, and Mr. Burtis still remains its chief executive officer. After 
its organization the Upper Iowa Power Company built a concrete dam seven 
miles east of Decorah, which proved ineffectual and entailed a loss of about 
fifty thousand dollars that had to be met by the stockholders. They had employed 
what were believed to be competent hydraulic engineers to design and superin- 
tend the construction of the dam but, like many others within the last decade, 
found their judgment erroneous and were obliged to face the consequences. In 
1908 they constructed a larger dam four miles further down the river and this has 
proved to be a great success. The Upper Iowa Power Company has a hand- 
somely equipped office and also storeroom in the Citizens Bank building at 
Decorah. The company furnishes light for the towns of Decorah, Waukon, Post- 
ville, Cresco and Lansing. Mr. Burtis is also vice president and general manager 
of the Interstate Power Company, which owns and operates five light plants in 
South Dakota. In 191 1 and 1912 the Interstate Power Company built another 
concrete and steel dam at the site of the wrecked dam, believed to be the first 
dam in the United States that has a steam thawing apparatus on the steel gates 
and is of the most modern construction throughout. Air. Burtis is widely recog- 
nized as a man of excellent executive ability and keen discernment and his suc- 
cess in the conduct of power plants has proven the efficacy of his efforts. 

On the 10th of May, 1898. Mr. Burtis was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary 
L. Stewart, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, her parents being Scott and Emma 
( Wilcox) Stewart, the mother a native of New York, and the father of Indiana. 
The latter removed to Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in an early day and was there 
engaged in the merchandise business. His demise occurred at Fergus Falls, in 
1899, but his widow is yet living and resides in Bemidji, Minnesota. Mr. and 
Mrs. Burtis have five children, as f ollows : Florence Elizabeth; Lucille Gertrude, 
Helen Emma, Barbara Stewart and Mary Alice. The family residence is an 
attractive home at No. 600 Jefferson street, which Mr. Burtis practically rebuilt. 
He is a republican in politics and fraternally is identified with the Knights of 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 21 

Pythias and with his college society, the Chi Psi fraternity. He stands today as 
one of the alert, wide-awake business men of Winneshiek county, accomplishing 
what he undertakes by his determination, capable management and undaunted 
energy. 



JOHN C. HEXOM. 



Among the commercial houses of Decorah there is none that enjoys a higher 
reputation than the firm of J. C. Hexom & Son, general merchants. The senior 
partner and principal owner, John C. Hexom, to whose enterprise the flourish- 
ing condition of the business is largely due, is a native son of this county, being 
born in Glenwood township on December 9, 1858, his parents being Christian 
and Pernille (Gamme) Hexom, natives of Norway. After the father came to 
America he located in Wisconsin in 1853. remaining in that state for a short time. 
In 1854 he came to Winneshiek county and at the end of a year made his way to 
Houston county, Minnesota, but in 1856 returned to this county. Here he en- 
tered one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he cleared, improved and oper- 
ated until 1887, selling out to good advantage and then removing to Lake county, 
South Dakota, where he purchased land near Madison. He has sold this property 
and is now living retired. He was drawn upon for service in the Civil war but, 
as he had a large family, considered it his higher duty to remain with and care 
for them and provided, at the expense of eight hundred dollars, another man to 
take his place. He has now attained the remarkable age of eighty-five years, 
being born in August, 1828, but the mother passed away in February, 1899, in 
Lake county, South Dakota. 

John C. Hexom was reared at home and educated in the district schools near 
the father's farm in Winneshiek county, working on the home place until he was 
of age. In 1881 he entered the employ of C. M. Goddard as clerk, remaining in 
this capacity until 1887, when he, in company with a brother, established a store, 
carrying men's furnishings, groceries and shoes, but since the fire which occurred 
in 1893 the stock has been confined to shoes and groceries. The partnership 
continued until 1896, when John C. Hexom bought out his brother's interest, 
conducting the store alone until 1910, when his son, Charles Philip, became a 
member of the firm, which is now conducted under the name of J. C. Hexom & 
Son. It is one of the largest establishments of its kind in Decorah, a first-class, 
complete line of stock being carried in both branches and the store enjoying an 
extensive patronage which assures the firm of gratifying annual returns. It is 
largely due to the ability, industry and circumspection of Mr. Hexom that this 
establishment has attained its present proportions and, while it is a gratifying 
individual source of income to its owners, it is also largely a contributing factor 
to the prosperous commercial conditions of Decorah. The firm holds member- 
ship in the Decorah Commercial Club. 

In February, 1884, Mr. Hexom was married to Miss Julia Swenson, whose 
parents were natives of Norway. The father was a pioneer here, where he 
began farming operations at an early day and remained until his death, the mother 
also having passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Hexom had five children : Charles 



22 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Philip, who is a partner in his father's business and of whom more extended 
mention is made in a separate article of this work; Stella and Edith, at home; 
Gerhard, who passed away at the age of seven months; and one who died in 
infancy. 

The family are faithful adherents of the Lutheran religion, to the local organ- 
ization of which they give their material and moral support. In his political 
affiliations Mr. Hexom is a republican, taking a citizen's interest in public mat- 
ters and being well informed upon all questions that affect the people and their 
government. The handsome family residence is located at No. 606 East Main 
street and there Mr. and Mrs. Hexom entertain their many friends, who highly 
esteem and honor them for their many good qualities of mind and character. 



HON. LAURITZ M. ENGER. 

Among the men of Decorah who have by their own efforts risen from a 
comparatively humble position to a place among men of marked ability and sub- 
stantial worth in Winneshiek county is numbered Hon. Lauritz M. Enger, repre- 
sentative of his district in the state legislature. He is, moreover, classed among 
the prominent business men of his city, where he is in control of an important 
and growing insurance concern. He was born in Norway, November 3. 1856, and 
is a son of Magnus and Anna P. (Overby) Enger, also natives of that country, 
the former of whom engaged in farming there during his entire active life and 
never came to America. He died in 1S77 and was survived by his wife until 
1903. 

Lauritz M. Enger attended public school in his native country until he was 
fifteen years of age, but during the last two years of this period was obliged 
to gain his own livelihood. At the age of fifteen he borrowed enough money 
to pay his passage to the United States and afterward worked at farm labor 
in order to pay his debt. When this was discharged he continued at his former 
occupation, working as a farm hand during the summer months and attending 
district school in the winters. He later became a student at Breckenridge Insti- 
tute in Decorah and upon leaving that institution secured a position as a clerk 
in a general store in this city, retaining it for six years thereafter. At the end 
of that time he rented a farm but after operating it for two years returned to 
Decorah, where he purchased a shoe store, turning his attention to mercantile 
pursuits. For nine years he continued to conduct this enterprise and during 
a portion of this time was employed also in the Decorah postoffice as mailing 
clerk. He then accepted a position in the office of the Decorah Posten. beginning 
in the mailing department and rising until he had full charge of same and later 
assisted in the editorial and business departments. He also did a great deal of 
illustrating and he remained connected with the paper for sixteen vears, during 
which time he also established himself in the insurance business. In this line 
of work he has since been active and is now in control of a large and repre- 
sentative patronage and is numbered among the substantial business men of 
the city. 







LAURITZ M. F.XIIKK 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 25 

Mr. Enger was elected to the state legislature in 1910, was reelected in 191 2 
and is now serving, his record as a member of that body being most creditable 
and honorable. In the thirty-fifth general assembly he was chairman of the 
committee on public health and was a member of the committees on appropria- 
tions, on elections, on printing and constitutional amendments. He belonged 
also to the committees on federal relations, on the conservation of resources and 
on state educational institutions and he left the impress of his political ability, 
his energy and high standards upon the legislative history of the state. He 
still continues active in the conduct of his business interests in Decorah and these 
are .proving exceedingly profitable, a fact which indicates his sound judgment 
and clear business discernment. 

On the 10th of February, 1880, Mr. Enger was united in marriage to Mjss 
Bertha Myran, a daughter of Ashley and Astri (Nelson) Myran, natives of 
Norway. The father came to America in 1849 an d located in Muskego, Wis- 
consin, where he worked in the lead mines until 1853. He then came as a 
pioneer to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and took up government land. He remained, 
however, only a short time and then returned to Norway, where his marriage 
occurred. In 1855 he returned to Winneshiek county and, having shot enough 
deer to pay for forty acres of land, purchased a tract of this size in Madison 
township and set about the work of its improvement and development. He 
remained active in agricultural pursuits upon this property during the remainder 
of his life, dying in 1894. His wife survived him some years, passing away in 
1900. Mr. and Mrs. Enger have become the parents of three children: Melvin, 
aged thirty-two, who is a professor in the University of Illinois ; Norval, aged 
thirty, county engineer of Grant county, Washington ; and Arthur, assistant 
engineer at the experiment station of the State University at Tucson, Arizona. 
He is an expert on road construction and travels all over the state in this 
capacity. 

Mr. Enger is a devout member of the Lutheran church and gives his politi- 
cal allegiance to the republican party. He is a member of the Norske Selskab 
Club and the Symra Club and is well known in social circles at Decorah. He is 
a man of varied interests but all are along lines of progress and improvement. 
While in business affairs he has achieved a gratifying measure of prosperity, 
he has at the same time wrought along lines of the greatest good to the greatest 
number, his activities in political and business fields proving of benefit to the 
community at large. 



CHARLES PHILIP HEXOM. 

The name of Hexom has long been prominently connected with commercial 
interests of Decorah, and Charles Philip Hexom, partner in the firm of J. C. 
Hexom & Son, worthily carries onward the family tradition. Born in Decorah, 
Iowa, in December, 1884. he is a son of John C. and Julia ( Swenson) Hexom, 
of whom more extended mention is made in another part of this work. Charles 
P. Hexom was reared amid the surroundings of a well-to-do home and received 
the advantages of a thorough education. He graduated in 1904, from the 



26 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Decorah high school, and prior to this attended Luther College for three years. 
After his graduation he went to Chicago and attended the Chicago Art Institute 
for one year and also spent one term in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. 
After this he returned to Decorah for a short time but then removed to Spokane, 
Washington, where for one year he was engaged in commercial art work. Re- 
turning home, he became a partner in his father's business, the firm name becom- 
ing J. C. Hexom & Son. He furnishes the youngest element in the firm. A 
young man of decided ability and pleasing address, he is popular with his patrons 
and the later success of the firm must to a large extent be ascribed to the able 
assistance he gives his father. Prior to going to Spokane Mr. Hexom also 
taught drawing for one year in the preparatory classes of his old school, the 
Luther College. He is now interested in commercial art in addition to his regular 
business. 

On September 28, 1910, Mr. Hexom was united in marriage to Miss Clarissa 
D. Holm, a daughter of O. W. and Julia (Hoffos) Holm, natives of Norway, 
who came to Decorah at an early day in the history of this city. Mr. Holm is 
now in the employ of the Lutheran Publishing Company. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Hexom has become an adherent of the 
progressive party, in the realization of the ideals of which he sees the fulfillment 
of a government for, by, and of the people. Religiously he is a Lutheran, being 
connected with the First Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church, in the work 
of which and its allied societies he takes a warm interest. An indication of his 
recreation is given in the fact that he is a member of the Decorah Rod & Gun 
Club and the Decorah Gymnasium Club, believing in physical exercise in order 
to keep body and mind in condition for strenuous business duties. The family 
residence is at No. 606 East Main street, Decorah, and there Mr. and Mrs. 
Hexom are often the center of the younger social set of the city, in which they 
are popular. 



LEWIS B. WHITNEY. 



A foremost representative of commercial and financial interests of Decorah 
and Winneshiek county is Lewis B. Whitney, who in 1897 helped to establish the 
National Bank of Decatur, of which institution he has served as president ever 
since. Born in Jefferson county. New York, on March 29, 1855, he is a son of 
Brayton and Martha M. (Rockwood) Whitney, natives of New York. The 
father was for many years a sailor on the Great Lakes, his run being from 
Oswego to Chicago, at a time when that city was yet Fort Dearborn. He sub- 
sequently moved to Wisconsin and there successfully operated a farm until 
1861, when he enlisted for service in the Civil war with Company B, Twenty- 
ninth Wisconsin Volunteers, being afterward transferred to the Sixteenth Ohio 
Battery, with which he served until the close of the war. At the cessation of 
hostilities he returned to Wisconsin and there again followed agricultural pur- 
suits until 1867, when he removed to Winneshiek county, Iowa, where he 
farmed until his death, which occurred in August, 1892. His wife survived 
him until December, 1896. 




MRS. LEWIS 11. WHITNEY 







LEWIS B. WHITNEY 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 31 

Lewis 11. Whitney was twelve years of age when his parents removed to 
Winneshiek county and received his education in the public schools of the neigh- 
borhood and in the Owatonna (Minnesota) high school, from which he was 
graduated with the class of 1874. Reared amid agricultural environments he 
decided to take up farming and engaged in that occupation here and in North 
Dakota until 1883, in which year he became a partner of A. J. Cratsenberg in the 
mercantile business at Burr Oak, this county, being thus engaged until 1893, when 
he was elected to the important position of county treasurer and served as such 
with great credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents for four 
years. In 1897 Mr. Whitney and several other gentlemen organized the 
National Bank of Decorah with a capital of fifty thousand dollars, Mr. Whit- 
ney becoming president, O. C. Johnson, vice president, and H. C. Hjerleid, 
cashier. Mr. Whitney has served as executive officer of the organization ever 
since and its prosperous condition is largely due to his efforts. 

On December 17, 1882. Mr. Whitney was united in marriage to Miss Ella 
L. Cratsenberg, a daughter of A. J. and Julia M. (Phelps) Cratsenberg, natives 
of New York. The father upon coming to Winneshiek county located in Burr 
Oak where he successfully engaged in the mercantile business until his retire- 
ment in 1904. The mother died in 1900. The father upon giving up active 
business moved to Decorah and made his home with our subject until his demise 
in 1909. He was a veteran of the Civil war and served with distinction with 
a New York company. A man of keen foresight and ability, Mr. Whitney has 
become one of the substantial men of the community and besides his important 
banking interests is a stockholder, director and the treasurer of the Decorah 
Gas Company and a director of the Winneshiek Hotel Company. Taking a 
deep interest in political matters, he has served on the republican state central 
committee and for the past four years has been secretary of that organization. 
He owns a beautiful home at No. 300 Grove street where he and his wife 
extend warm-hearted hospitality to their many friends. Fraternally he is con- 
nected with a number of orders, being a thirty-second degree Mason, a member 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent Protective Order of 
Elks and the Knights of Pythias. It is to such enterprising and aggressive men 
as Mr. Whitney that the rapid development of Winneshiek county and Decorah 
is due, and while his individual success is important, his real value in the upbuild- 
ing of this section is of more paramount interest and worthy of greater com- 
mendation. 



FRANK M. HUGHES. 



Frank M. Hughes has made an enviable record as city clerk of Decorah, in 
which position he has served with ability and efficiency since 1901. A native 
son of the city, he was born August 30, 1859, his parents being David Henry 
and Ada (Mattison) Hughes, natives of New York, the former having come to 
Decorah, Iowa, in 1857. He was a distinguished man in his days and before 
the Civil war served as judge, but upon the outbreak of the conflict enlisted and 
b.ecame colonel of the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry, serving as such for about 



32 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

three years, when he was taken sick and died at Port Hudson. His wife sur- 
vived him for many years, passing away in February, 1910. 

Frank M. Hughes was reared under the parental roof and early guided by 
his mother along the path of industry and honesty, receiving his education in 
the public schools and at Breckenridge Institute. Having reached his majority, 
he engaged in the livery business, conducing an establishment of this kind for 
about one year, at the end of which period he went to Montana, where he be- 
came connected with Bates, Corey & Company, wholesale grocers, as shipping 
clerk, remaining in that state for about nine years. He then returned to Decorah 
and was for two years connected with a restaurant, at the end of which time, in 
1901, he was elected to the office of city clerk, in which capacity he has served 
ever since, being continued in office by reelection. His uninterrupted record 
speaks for itself as regards his ability and fidelity in office and there is no city 
or county officer residing in Decorah who is more popular than Frank M. Hughes. 
Mr. Hughes owns a handsome home at No. 310 West Broadway, where his 
sister Louise presides over his household. He has also another sister. Ada, 
who is the wife of Chauncy Amnion, residing at Estherville, Iowa, and a twin 
brother, Fred, making his home in Tennessee. 

Mr. Hughes is affiliated with the republican party and his religious adher- 
ence is given to the Unitarian church. Fraternally he is a member of the 
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, in which he is popular and highly appre- 
ciated, and for the past seven years has served in the capacity of secretary of the 
local lodge. A man pleasant of manner, genial, kind-hearted and of distinct 
social qualities, Mr. Hughes is liked wherever known and one of those whom 
everybody considers it an honor to call friend. 



LUDYIG WINGER. 



Ludvig Winger, a native son of Winneshiek county and today one of the most 
prosperous and energetic farmers of Springfield township, where he owns and 
operates a fine property of one hundred and fifty-three acres, was born March 
8, 1879. He is a son of Lars and Gertrude ( Oualley ) Winger, natives of Nor- 
way, the former having come to America in 1864, locating in Winneshiek county. 
For about three years thereafter he worked as a farm laborer and then pur- 
chased land in Decorah township which he improved and operated for a similar 
period of time, selling it finally and going to Calmar, where he worked at the 
shoemaker"s trade which he had learned in Norway. After residing in that 
city for two years he came to Springfield township and bought seventy acres on 
section 8, which he developed into a profitable and valuable agricultural property 
upon which he continued to reside until his death, in 1894. His wife survives 
him and is living upon the homestead. 

Ludvig Winger was reared and educated in Springfield township, attending 
the district school and afterward the Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. He re- 
mained at home until he had attained his majority and then went to Decorah, 
where he turned his attention to the restaurant and bakery business, conducting 
a large and profitable enterprise of this character for seven years thereafter. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 33 

At the end of that time he went to Ward county, North Dakota, taking up 3 
homestead claim which he afterward sold, going from there to Detroit, .Mich- 
igan. In that city he entered the employ of a wholesale drug company but after 
one year returned to Winneshiek county and bought one hundred and fifty-three 
acres of land on section 9, Springfield township, a property which he has oper- 
ated since 1908. Upon it he has made substantial improvements, carrying for- 
ward the work of cultivation along modern and practical lines and standing 
today among the most successful and able agriculturists of this township. 

On the 1st of June, 191 1, Mr. Winger was united in marriage to Miss Bertha 
Bang, a daughter of Anton and Berit (Hoyne) Bang, natives of Norway, who 
came to America at an early date and settled in Winneshiek county, where the 
father has since engaged in farming. 

In addition to his farm in Springfield township Mr. W'inger owns also a 
one hundred and sixty acre tract in North Dakota. He is a stockholder in the 
Farmers Hog Company of Decorah, the Decorah Cooperative Company, the Nord- 
ness Creamery Company and the Nordness Telephone Company, and his ability 
is widely recognized in business circles. He gives his political allegiance to the 
progressive party and is now serving in a capable and efficient way as township 
clerk. He is alert, energetic and enterprising and his sterling worth has gained 
him many friends in the community, the high regard in which he is held merit- 
ing his classification with the representative and honored citizens of his native 
county. 



FRANK GEHEING. 



Frank Gehling is engaged in general farming and stock-raising upon one hun- 
dred and fifty-five acres of the old Gehling homestead in Washington town- 
ship, section 1. upon which he was born on the 2d of November, 1872. He is a 
son of Henry and Clara ( Leitkenhaus) Gehling, natives of Germany, the former 
of whom came to America when he was eighteen years of age and after spend- 
ing a few years in Wisconsin came to Winneshiek county, where he followed 
farming during the remainder of his life. He was township trustee for a num- 
ber of years and served also as school director, taking a prominent and active 
part in public affairs. He died upon his farm in Washington township August 
23, 1908, having survived his wife since March 13th of that year. To their 
union were born seven children, three of whom are still living: Elizabeth, the 
wife of Barney Holtey, of Ossian ; Barnard, of Washington township ; and 
Frank, of this review. 

The last named was reared under the parental roof and has never left the 
homestead. He spent his childhood assisting in its operation and upon his 
father's retirement joined his brother in its management. After the estate was 
divided he secured one hundred and fifty-five acres and upon this fine property 
has since made his home, success steadily attending his well directed efforts in 
its development. He has all the land in a high state of cultivation and upon 
it has made substantial improvements, erecting a comfortable modern house and 



34 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

barns and sheds. He engages in general farming and stock-raising and has made 
both branches of his activities important and profitable. 

On the 3d of February, 1903, Mr. Gehling was united in marriage to Miss 
Emma Frerich, and to their union have been born four children : Catherine, who 
died September 22, 1908; Joseph Barney, who was born on the 6th of January, 
1908; Marie, whose birth occurred January 26, 1910; and Luverne, born Jan- 
uary 16, 1912. Mr. Gehling is a democrat in his political beliefs and his relig- 
ious views are in accord with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church. He 
is accounted one of the active workers and progressive farmers of Washington 
township and has the unqualified esteem and confidence of the people among 
whom his entire life has been passed. 



GEORGE F. BAKER. 



A son of a prominent business man, George F. Baker has carried worthily 
forward the traditions of the family, being connected with some of the most 
important commercial interests of Decorah and Winneshiek county. He is a 
business man of the modern type, shrewd, able, progressive and straightfor- 
ward, careful of his own interests, considerate of those of others and influenced 
at all times by the thought of the broader effect which his actions have upon 
the growth of his community. An indication of his influential position in 
the business world is given by the fact that he at present serves as the presi- 
dent of the Decorah Commercial Club, the Winneshiek County Agricultural 
Society and the Building & Loan Association of Decorah, being also connected 
with a number of other important enterprises and private interests. He is the 
owner of one of the largest lumberyards of Decorah and in that connection 
has interests which connect him with the far west of the country. A self- 
made man, due credit must be given for what he has attained, and due credit 
is given him by his fellowmen, who defer to his judgment and concede him to 
be a man of superior ability. 

Born in Conover, Winneshiek county on October 11, 1868, George F. Baker 
is a son of James H. and Elizabeth (Flanders) Baker, the father a native of 
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where he was born in 1838. He was of Irish stock, 
his parents coming to the United States from the Emerald isle at an early date, 
locating in Wisconsin. Elizabeth (Flanders) Baker was born in New York- 
state on October 31, 1845, and is of Yankee descent. James H. Baker was a 
grain dealer and stock buyer and shipper and prior to coming to Winneshiek 
county was engaged as agriculturist. He came to Conover in 1864, operating 
a grain elevator there and buying and shipping stock. In 1867 he removed to 
Decorah and successfully conducted business until his death in 1S82. His 
widow still makes her home in Decorah. James H. Baker was considered one of 
the leading men of his community not only in business but also along public lines, 
serving at the time of his death as city alderman, having held that position for 
a number of years. He also was extensively interested in the city waterworks. 

George F. Baker was educated in the public and high schools of Decorah 
and when he was fifteen years of age discontinued his lessons and engaged 




GEORGE F. BAKER 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 37 

for work in a lumberyard which belonged to a -Mr. Riley. Paying close 
attention to business, studying methods, details, transactions and also the qual- 
ities of material handled, he soon became an expert in his line and after only 
two years was appointed manager of the Wilbur Lumber Company of Decorah. 
He remained in this connection until 1890, when 'he acquired an interest in 
Mr. Riley's business, becoming a partner in the concern. In the fall of 1903 
he acquired Mr. Riley's part and has since been sole proprietor. Under his 
able management the business has largely increased and the annual income 
derived from the enterprise is a most gratifying one. 

In 1891 Mr. Baker was united in marriage to Miss Leila A. Adams, a 
daughter of A. W. and Emma (Fuller) Adams, the former a special police 
officer of Waterloo, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have one son, George A., 
born February 14, 1894, who is a senior in the Decorah high school. 

It is but natural that a man of the ability and enterprise of Mr. Baker 
should become intimately connected with the public life of his community 
and the service he has rendered in that connection is such as to be worthy of 
the highest commendation. He served with distinction for four years as alder- 
man of the fourth ward and still is a member of the school board of Decorah. 
promoting the cause of education in every possible way. His interest in the 
commercial expansion of his community is evident from the fact that he at 
present serves as president of the Decorah Commercial Club, doing in this 
important position valuable work in attracting new industries and enterprises 
toward the city. He is president of the Winneshiek County Agricultural Society 
and as president of the Building & Loan Association of Decorah has been instru- 
mental in helping many of moderate means to erect their own homes He is a 
stockholder and director in the Winneshiek Hotel Company of Decorah and is 
also interested in the Ronan Wood & Land Company of Decorah and is chief 
executive officer of an outside concern, the Baker Lumber Company of Salt Lake 
City, Utah, this company having nine retail lumberyards in that state. J. H. 
Baker, a brother of our subject, is the manager of this firm. 

Mr. Baker votes the republican ticket and fraternally is a member of the 
Knights of Pythias. Mrs. Baker is president of the Ladies Aid Society. It is 
readily recognized that the modern growth of cities is largely due to commercial 
expansion and for that reason Mr. Baker must be given high credit for what he 
has done for Decorah. True and loyal to his home city, he promotes her interests 
wherever the opportunity offers and his name stands high among those who have 
materially contributed to her upbuilding. 



OLE O. RODVANG. 



Ole O. Rodvang, who has lived in Springfield township since 1854, is now 
classed among the representative and successful farmers of this vicinity, operat- 
ing the property upon which his parents settled in pioneer times. His name has 
long been an honored one in this community and his record is an added credit 
to it, since his life has been in all its relations upright and straightforward. He 
was born in Norway on the 6th of January, 1850, and is a son of Ole Olfsen 



38 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

November 18, 1818, and the latter, April 25, 1813. They came to America in 
1852, having taken passage on a ship which they and other emigrants had char- 
and Marit (Haave) Rodvang, also natives of that country, the former born 
tered. However, they were late in getting aboard and the ship began the journey 
without them, circumstances which proved extremely fortunate for the Rodvang 
Rodvang eventually chartered another vessel and after eight weeks upon the ocean 
the family landed at Quebec, Canada, August 17, 1852. They pushed on to Buf- 
falo, New York, where they took passage on the steamer Atlantic, going by way 
of Lake Erie to Detroit, Michigan. On the way the ship collided with another 
dred were saved, the Rodvang family being among those to escape. They lost 
family, as the vessel was wrecked in mid-ocean and all on board were lost. Mr. 
vessel and went down with its five hundred passengers, of whom only two hun- 
all of their possessions and were taken to Detroit, whence they finally made their 
way to Koshkonong Prairie, Wisconsin, arriving there September 26, 1852. In 
the spring of the following year they came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and 
in 1854 the father purchased land in Springfield township, buying eighty acres 
to which he steadily added as his financial resources increased until he owned 
two hundred and forty-six acres. His land was purchased from the government 
at one dollar and a quarter per acre and Mr. Rodvang improved and developed 
it to such an extent that it became finally one of the most valuable tracts in this 
section of Iowa. He operated the property until May. 1876, and then sold the 
farm to his son. The father passed away on the 4th of March, 1884, at the 
age of sixty-five, and was survived by his wife until June 4, 1902, her death 
occurring when she was eighty-nine years of age. 

Ole O. Rodvang was reared and educated in Winneshiek county, attending 
district school in Springfield township and afterward Luther College and the 
Decorah high school. From his childhood he assisted with the operation of the 
homestead, learning the best agricultural methods by practical experience upon 
the farm, and in 1876 he purchased his father's property, which he has operated 
and developed since that time, its excellent condition testifying to the fact that 
he is a practical, careful and able farmer. 

On the 10th of May, 1873. Mr Rodvang was united in marriage to Miss Inger 
Gunderson Ranum, who was born in Aurdal, Norway, June 24, 1854, a daughter 
of Gunnar and Barbara Ranum, natives of Norway. The father died in that 
country on November 10, 1865. and the mother afterward married Ole Tufty, 
with whom she came to America in 1867. They purchased a farm in Glenwood 
township, Winneshiek county, and later bought land in Springfield township, 
near Nordness, which Mr. Tufty developed and improved until his death. He 
passed away in December. 1881, and his wife, February 24, 1901. Mr. and Mrs. 
Rodvang are the parents of eight children: Matilda, born January 18, 1874; 
Bertha O., born July 24, 1876; Oscar O., born July 28, 1878; Amanda M., born 
October 18, 1880; Gunhilde T., December 12, 1882; Lena C, December 21, 
1884; George Olaf, May 2, 1886; and Inger C, whose natal day was December 

4. 1895- 

Mr. Rodvang is a stockholder in the Nordness Creamery Companv and the 

Decorah Cooperative Company. His political allegiance is given to the republican 
partv and he has rendered his township excellent service as trustee and road 
supervisor. He is an enterprising and progressive citizen who takes a commend- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 39 

able interest in public affairs and during the long period of his residence in this 
part of the state has gained the respect, regard and high esteem of all who have 
been in any way associated with him. 



HALL H. THOMAS, B. Sc, M. D. 

Dr. Hall H. Thomas, one of the leading surgeons of Decorah, is now ably 
serving as city physician, county physician and health officer. His birth occurred 
in Decorah, Winneshiek county, Iowa, on the ist of October, 1877, his parents 
being A. D. and Alice (Pollitt) Thomas, the former born in the northeastern 
part of Pennsylvania and the latter a native of England. During his active busi- 
ness career A. D. Thomas was a butcher, a cattle buyer and breeder and also a 
farmer. In 1859 he came to Decorah, this county, and for a time worked at the 
carpenter's trade. Subsequently he opened a meat market and bought and 
shipped stock for about ten years. On the expiration of that period he sold out 
and purchased and located on a farm of five hundred acres four miles north of 
Decorah. He continued the buying and shipping of stock and began breeding 
Hereford cattle, being the first man to introduce these cattle in the county. 
In 1895 he moved to Decorah, still retaining his farm and supervising the 
work until 1900, when he sold the farm and invested part of his money in town 
property. His demise, which occurred in Decorah on the 8th of November, 
19 1 2, was the occasion of deep and widespread regret, for he had gained many 
friends during the period of his residence in this county, which covered more 
than a half century. He served as mayor of West Decorah for four terms and 
acted as president of the school board for a number of years. Mrs. A. D. 
Thomas came to the United States with her parents when but a child, the family 
home being established on a farm west of Burr Oak, in Winneshiek county. 
She now makes her home with her sister, Mrs. Freeman of Decorah, and is 
well known and highly esteemed throughout the community. 

Hall H. Thomas acquired his education in the Decorah high school and sub- 
sequently entered the Iowa State College, from which institution he was grad- 
uted in 1900 with the degree of B. Sc. Preparing for the practice of medicine, 
he completed the required course in Rush Medical College in 1906, in which year 
the M. D. degree was conferred upon him. The same year he went to Gales- 
burg, Illinois, as surgeon of the Burlington Railroad Company and two years 
later transferred to Black Hills, South Dakota, where he remained as surgeon 
for the company until 191 1. At that time he came to Decorah and has since 
remained in practice here, enjoying an enviable reputation as one of the leading 
surgeons of the city. He acts as president of the Winneshiek County Medical 
Society and is also a valued member of the Northeastern Iowa Medical Society, 
the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. His 
standing in the profession is further indicated by the fact that he now holds the 
offices of county physician, city physician and health officer. 

In 1909 Dr. Thomas was united in marriage to Miss Florence M. Peters, a 
daughter of Charles and Emma (Howard) Peters. The father was a prom- 
inent street railway man and soap manufacturer of Fort Madison, Iowa, and 



40 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

also owned several large ranches in the west. Both Mr. and Mrs. Peters are 
deceased, passing away at Fort Madison, Iowa, a few years ago. Our subject 
and his wife have a son, Hall H., who was born on the 14th of March, 1910. 

In politics Dr. Thomas is independent, supporting men and measures rather 
than party. He belongs to the Phi Beta Pi fraternity of Chicago and is also 
a member of Decorah Lodge, No. 443. B. P. O. E. Dr. Thomas has won an 
enviable place in professional circles for one of his years and well deserves 
recognition among the representative and prosperous citizens of his native county. 



NELS E. RAMSEY. 



Nels E. Ramsey, a well known agriculturist and worthy native son of 
Winneshiek county, owns and operates a farm of one hundred and sixty acres 
on section 36, Decorah township, which is one of the best improved in the 
state. His birth occurred in Frankville township in February, i860, his parents 
being Elling and Aase ( Sherping ) Ramsey, both of whom were natives of 
Norway. The father emigrated to the United States in 1849, locating first 
in Wisconsin, where lie remained until 1851, when he came to Winneshiek 
county, Iowa. Purchasing eighty acres of land in Frankville township, he 
undertook the task of clearing and improving the property, and as time passed 
and his financial resources increased, owing to his well directed labor and 
good management, he extended the boundaries of his farm by additional pur- 
chases until it comprised three hundred and sixty acres. In 1893 he put aside 
the active work of the fields but continued on the farm, living in honorable 
retirement until the time of his death in September, 1900. He was a pioneer 
agriculturist whose labors had been a factor in the work of progress and 
development, and his personal characteristics were such as commanded the 
respect and esteem of all who knew him. His widow still lives on the home 
place and has attained the age of eighty-three years. 

Nels E. Ramsey was reared and educated in this county, attending the 
district schools and also pursuing a course of study in Luther College of 
Decorah. After putting aside his text-books he turned his attention to general 
agricultural pursuits, cultivating land which he rented from his father for two 
years, on the expiration of which period he purchased the property, comprising 
one hundred and sixty acres. It has since remained in his possession and he 
has been busily engaged in its further cultivation and development to the present 
time, it being now one of the best improved farms in Iowa. In connection with 
the production of cereals he devotes considerable attention to live stock, raising 
one hundred and fifty head of hogs annually. As his financial resources have 
increased he has extended his interests and is now a stockholder in the Nord- 
ness Creamery Company, the Nordness Telephone Companv and the Farmers 
Hog Company of Decorah. 

In May, 1886, Mr. Ramsey was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Qualley, 
a daughter of J. T. and Julia (Egge) Qualley, who are mentioned at greater 
length on another page of this work in connection with the sketch of Thomas 




MR. AND MRS. NELS E. RAMSEY 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 43 

J. Qualley, brother of Mrs. Ramsey. Our subject and his wife have four 
adopted children, Amelia, John, Leona and May T. 

Politically Mr. Ramsey is a stanch republican and has ably served his town- 
ship in the capacity of assessor for six years and as trustee for four years. 
He belongs to Det Norske Selskab and is a faithful and devoted member of 
the Lutheran church. He has always resided within the borders of Winneshiek 
county and is well known and highly esteemed as a prosperous, progressive 
and public-spirited citizen. 



PETER E. RAMSAY. 



Peter E. Ramsay, the owner of the Old Homestead Farm of two hundred 
and sixty acres lying on sections 4 and 5, Frankville township, is numbered among 
Winneshiek county's most successful farmers and most able and progressive 
native sons, his birth having occurred on the property which he now operates 
on the 29th of .March, 1874. He is a son of Filing and Aase (Skerping) 
Ramsay, natives of Norway, who went to Wisconsin at an early date and came 
from that state to Winneshiek county in 1858. Here the father purchased land, 
buying two hundred and thirty acres on sections 4 and 5, Frankville township, 
and he continued active in the improvement and development of this fine farm 
until his death, which occurred when he was seventy-five years of age. His 
wife survives him and makes her home with the subject of this review. She 
is a member of the Lutheran church, to which her husband also belonged. In 
their family were thirteen children, of whom six survive: Nels, of Decorah 
township ; Butler, who resides in Decorah ; Peter E., of this review ; Gunhilda, 
the wife of Lewis Arness, of Frankville township; Martha, the wife of Henry 
Prastmark, of Detroit, Minnesota; and Lizzie, who married Henry Ness, of 
Decorah. 

Peter E. Ramsay was reared under the parental roof and in the district 
schools of his native section acquired his education. From his childhood he was 
familiar with farm work, having aided his father with the operation of the 
homestead, and before he was twenty-one he was a progressive and able agri- 
culturist. He now owns the old farm of two hundred and thirty acres and has 
added to it an additional thirty, all of the property being in a high state of cul- 
tivation. His father made substantial improvements upon it and the son has 
kept the buildings in good repair and ably carried forward the work begun 
in pioneer times. He owns also one hundred and sixty-one acres in the vicinity 
of Detroit, Minnesota, and this he has given over to the charge of the state, 
which is operating there a model farm. 

In 1901 Mr. Ramsay was united in marriage to Miss Millie Lynne, who was 
born in Glenwood township, February 23, 1883, a daughter of Edward and 
Katherine Lynne, of Decorah. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay have five children, Elling, 
Thelma, Aaron, Margery and Peter. 

Mr. Ramsay affiliated with the republican party until 1912, in which year he 
joined the ranks of the progressives. He has rendered his township excellent 
service in various capacities, serving as trustee for twelve years and as treasurer 



44 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

of Independent school district No. 7. He is interested in the cause of education 
and in addition to his work as treasurer has served for several years on the 
school board. In the section where he was born and where his entire life has been 
spent he holds the esteem and high regard of all who are associated with him, 
and his management of the Old Homestead Farm has given him a place among 
the township's progressive and successful agriculturists. 



EDWARD H. HOVER. 



The progress of Winneshiek county — material, political, intellectual and moral 
— has found a champion in Edward H. Hover who, recognizing the fact that each 
has its place in the scheme of the world, has labored earnestly for the develop- 
ment of this section along all those lines, his efforts proving potent forces in the 
growth of the community in which his entire life has been spent. He was born 
on the old homestead adjoining his present place of residence on the 23d of 
April, 1876, a son of Edwin and Bertha Maria (Christian) Hover, natives of 
Norway who were brought to the United States in early life by their respective 
parents. They are mentioned at length on another page of this volume. The 
subject of this review was the third in order of birth and the eldest son in a 
family of nine children, of whom two passed away in infancy. The surviving 
members are: Matilda, the wife of Edwin Quisel, a resident of Toronto, South 
Dakota; Clara Helena, who married Edwin Nordhehn, of Pleasant township; 
Edward H., of this review; C. Elmer, residing at Newburg, Minnesota; Alice 
Sophia, the widow of Albert Lodahl, who makes her home with her father; 
Idella, also residing at home ; and Alma, engaged in school teaching. 

Upon the old homestead on which his grandfather located in pioneer days 
and which originally included his present home farm, Edward H. Hover was 
reared to manhood, devoting the period of his boyhood and youth to the acquire- 
ment of an education and the gaining of practical experience under the direction 
of his father. He early became acquainted with the best methods of farming, 
his training being thorough and comprehensive, and the lessons of energy, in- 
dustry and thrift thus instilled into his mind have proven of vital importance 
in his subsequent success as an agriculturist. He remained at home with his 
father until his marriage, in 1900, when, wishing to take up farming independ- 
ently, he purchased one hundred and twenty acres from his father, to the further 
improvement of which he has since given his attention. This tract, lying on sec- 
tions 8 and 5. Pleasant township, is a part of the old home place and under his 
direction has been brought to a high state of cultivation. He engages in general 
farming and stock-raising and, being progressive in his ideas and employing 
modern methods in the cultivation of his fields and the care of his live-stock, 
he has attained marked success, his well directed efforts being rewarded by a 
substantial annual income. 

In 1900 Air. Hover was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Thorson, who 
was born in Highland township, this county, on the 4th of January, [874, a 
daughter of Ole and Anna Thorson, natives of Norway who came *o Iowa at 
an earlv day. The father is deceased but the mother survives and makes her 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 45 

home in Highland township. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hover have been born two 
children, Maurice and Lucile. 

Like his father, who is one of the honored and valued residents of this 
section, Mr. Hover has never given his attention exclusively to his individual 
affairs but has found time and opportunity to take an active part in the public 
life of the community and manifests a keen interest in all those projects which 
tend to promote the general welfare. His political views are in accordance 
with the principles of the republican party, and on that ticket he was elected to 
the office of township clerk, which he has occupied for the past eight years. 
For a number of years he served as president of the township school board, in- 
dicating his championship of the cause of education, and he is also a strong 
advocate of good roads, doing all in his power to further the work in that 
direction. He is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, believ- 
ing that the moral development of a community should go hand in hand with 
its material and intellectual growth, and thus his efforts along various lines are 
proving of material value in the substantial improvement of Winneshiek county, 
which numbers him among her native sons. 



PAUL ODE. 



Paul Ode is the owner of an excellent farm of two hundred acres lying on 
section 13, Springfield township, and upon this property was born December 
23, 1878, a son of Peter and Jorend (Riesty) Ode, of whom further mention is 
made elsewhere in this work. He was reared upon the property which he now 
operates and acquired his early education in the district schools of the vicinity, 
later taking a course at Valder's Business College in Decorah. When he left 
home he went to South Dakota, where he worked for his brother for one year. 
Returning home at the end of that time, he entered his father's employ and con- 
tinued therein until 1901, when he rented the homestead. This he developed and 
cultivated for nine years thereafter and in 1910 purchased the property which 
he still owns. The farm comprises two hundred acres lying on section 13, 
Springfield township, and is highly improved and developed, the owner follow- 
ing the most practical and progressive methods. His well directed efforts have 
been rewarded by a gratifying measure of success and he is well entitled to the 
high place which he holds among the section's substantial and representative 
agriculturists. 

On the 20th of June, 1907, Mr. Ode was united in marriage to Miss Clara 
Matilda Nelson, a daughter of Halvor and Bergit (Kjonaas) Nelson, natives of 
Norway, who, together with Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ode, parents of the subject 
of this review, celebrated in 1912 their golden wedding anniversary. They were 
pioneers in Wisconsin, where they settled on coming to America, afterward re- 
moving to Winneshiek county. Here the father purchased land in Springfield 
township and continued to operate and improve it until his death, which occurred 
on the 2d of April, 1913, when he was seventy-eight years of age. His wife 
survives him, having reached the age of sixty-eight. Mr. and Mrs. Ode have 



46 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

become the parents of three children: Gustave, aged five; Elsie Helen, aged three 
years ; and Henry P., aged four months. 

Mr. Ode is a stock-holder in the Nordness Creamery Company and the Union 
Produce Company of Ossian, and his ability is widely recognized in business 
circles. He is a devout member of the Lutheran church and gives his allegiance 
to the republican party, being eminently progressive and public-spirited in mat- 
ters of citizenship. His entire life has been spent in Springfield township, where 
he is widely recognized and favorably known. 



BENJAMIN E. JEWELL. 

Benjamin E. Jewell needs no introduction to the readers of the history of 
Winneshiek county for his name has been an honored one in this section of the 
state since early times and he himself is today one of the progressive and sub- 
stantial agriculturists of Decorah township. He owns and operates four 
hundred and forty acres of land on section 6, a property which his well directed 
efforts have made productive and profitable. 

Mr. Jewell was born in Ohio on the ist of February. 1850, and is a son 
of Jacob and Emily (Headington) Jewell, natives of Ohio, who came to Win- 
neshiek county, Iowa, in i860, the father purchasing land in Decorah town- 
ship. He bought an unimproved tract which he at once set about clearing and 
developing, adding to his holdings from time to time until he owned twelve 
hundred acres, one of the most extensive tracts in this section of the state. 
For the remainder of his life he gave practically all of his attention to the 
improvement of his farm and his activities had an important effect upon the 
agricultural upbuilding of the community. He died in 1909 and is survived 
by his wife, who resides upon the homestead, having reached the age of eighty- 
seven years. 

In the acquirement of an education Benjamin E. Jewell attended public 
school in Ohio and when he was ten years of age accompanied his parents to 
Iowa, completing his studies in the district schools of Winneshiek county, 
where the family settled. In his childhood he assisted with the operation of 
the homestead and for many years after laying aside his books remained with 
his parents. When he was thirty-five years of age he took up his residence 
upon a farm of one-hundred and sixty acres on section 6, Decorah township, 
land which he had purchased some years before, and this he set about clearing 
and improving. He later bought more land and upon the death of his father 
inherited an additional one hundred and twenty acres. He now owns four 
hundred and forty acres of fine land lying on section 6, Decorah township, 
and upon this he carries on general farming and stock-raising, success steadily 
attending his well directed labors. Upon his property he has made substantial 
improvements in buildings and equipment and has neglected nothing that would 
add to its attractive appearance, the farm being today one of the best agricul- 
tural properties in this part of the state. 

In September, 1885, Mr. Jewell married Miss Kate Elliott, a daughter of 
John and Kate Elliott, natives of Ireland, who came to W'inneshiek county in 




JACOB JEWELL 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 49 

■early times. Here the father purchased one hundred and eighty acres of land 
in Decorah township and has since improved and operated this property. Mr. 
and Mrs. Jewell became the parents of six children: John J., aged twenty- 
seven, an attorney at law in Hobson, Montana; Lola, the wife of George 
Coughlin, bookkeeper for Ben Bear ; Catherine, wdio lives at home ; Walter 
and Marjorie, who are attending school in Decorah; and Benjamin, who died 
in 1900, at the age of three years. Mr. Jewell and his wife are members of 
the Roman Catholic church. 

Mr. Jewell is affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the 
Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is well 
known in fraternal circles of Decorah. He gives his political allegiance to 
the democratic party and is interested in the growth and welfare of the sec- 
tion in which he has resided since his childhood. He rendered the county 
excellent service for two terms as supervisor and made a notable campaign for 
the office of state senator but was defeated by a few votes by Dr. Jewell, 
of Decorah. Well known throughout Winneshiek county by reason of his 
long residence and his honorable and upright life, Mr. Jewell is accounted one 
of the active workers and progressive farmers of Decorah township and has 
the unqualified confidence and esteem of the entire community. 



JOHN A. JEWELL 



John A. Jewell is engaged in general farming and stock-raising upon two 
hundred and forty acres of land lying on section 7, Decorah township. He 
has resided within the borders of Winneshiek county since his infancy but 
was born in Ohio, January 13, 1S60, a son of Jacob and Emily ( Headington ) 
Jewell, of whom further mention is made in connection with the sketch of 
Benjamin E. Jewell. He was only a few months old when the family moved 
to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and he here grew to manhood, acquiring his 
education in the district school and at Breckenridge Institute in Decorah. 
During his childhood he aided with the operation of the homestead and for a 
number of years after laying aside his books assisted his father, finally rent- 
ing the homestead which he continued to operate for some time. After his 
father's death he came into two hundred and forty acres of land on section 
7, Decorah township, and to its operation he now gives practically all of 
his time and attention, success attending his well directed labors. He rents 
one hundred and twenty additional acres and the entire tract is under a high 
state of cultivation, reflecting everywhere Mr. Jewell's careful supervision and 
practical methods. In addition to general farming he is also extensively inter- 
ested in stock-raising, specializing in the breeding of thoroughbred Poland 
China hogs, which prove a profitable source of income to him. He has im- 
proved his land and has now a good home and substantial outbuildings, the 
place presenting a neat and attractive appearance. 

On November 8, 1891, Mr. Jewell was united in marriage to Miss Minnie 
Hatton, a daughter of John and Mary Hatton, natives of England, who spent 
their entire lives in that country. Mr. and Mrs. Jewell have three children: 



50 I'AST AXD l'KKSEXT <)F WIXXFSH1EK COUNTY 

Fred J., aged twenty; Beatrice D., aged eighteen; and Clarence E., twelve 
years of age. The family are members of the Episcopal church. Mr. Jewell 
is a stockholder in the Farmers Creamery Company of Decorah and is well 
known in business circles of that community. He gives his political allegiance 
to the democratic party and takes an intelligent interest in public affairs, giving 
his hearty and active cooperation to progressive public projects. In the town- 
ship where he has resided since his infancy he is widely and favorably known, 
his honorable, upright and useful life having gained him the confidence and 
esteem of all who have come in contact with him. 



FRANK JEWELL. 



Frank Jewell, one of the most progressive and successful farmers and 
stock-raisers in Winneshiek county, owns one hundred and twenty acres and 
rents three hundred and twenty on sections 8 and Q, Decorah township, 
the property constituting a portion of the farm upon which he was born on 
the Jth of February, 1864. He is a son of Jacob and Emily (Headington) 
Jewell, of whom more extended mention is made in connection with the sketch 
of Benjamin E. Jewell. 

Frank Jewell was reared in his parents' home and acquired his education 
in the district schools and in the Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. He has 
never left the homestead, for a few years before his father's death he rented 
the property, which he operated until the estate was divided. At that time he 
inherited one hundred and twenty acres on section 8 and this he still owns, 
operating it in connection with his mother's three hundred and twenty acres 
which he rents. All of this land lies on sections 8 and g, Decorah town- 
ship and he has the entire tract in a high state of cultivation, his ability being 
evidenced in the excellent results which have attended his labors. He has 
made substantial improvements in buildings and equipment and keeps every- 
thing in excellent condition, being practical in his methods and farsighted in 
all of his business dealings. In addition to general farming Mr. Tewell also 
buys, sells and breeds stock on an extensive scale and at present has upon his 
farm about fifty head of cattle and one hundred and sixty sheep. He owns 
extensive tracts of land in Canada and Xorth Dakota and his business interests 
are all carefully and capably conducted, bringing him a substantial income. 

In September, 1891, Mr. Jewell was united in marriage to Miss Ida Moore, 
a daughter of Charles and Gustavia (Erickson) Moore, the former a native 
of Illinois and the latter of Norway. The father came in his childhood to 
Winneshiek county and grew to manhood in this part of Iowa, afterward 
turning his attention to farming, operating a fine property in Decorah town- 
ship until 1911, when he retired and moved to Decorah, where he and his wife 
now reside. Mr. and Mrs. Jewell have become the parents of three children: 
Emma, aged twenty: Xellie, seventeen; and Charles, eleven years of age. The 
family are members of the Lutheran church. 

Fraternally Mr. Jewell is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order 
of Elks and the Masonic lodge, lie gives his political allegiance to the demo- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 51 

cratic party and is interested in the growth and welfare of this section, although 
never active as an office seeker. He stands high in his native community in 
both a business and social sense and well deserves mention as one of the repre- 
sentative agriculturists of Winneshiek county. 



WILLIAM R. SHEA. 



On the roster of county officials in Winneshiek county appears the name of 
William R. Shea, who was elected to the position of county auditor on the 5th 
of November, 1912. His birth occurred in Decorah, Iowa, on the 17th of June, 
1881, his parents being Daniel and Mary A. (Waters) Shea, both of whom were 
natives of New York. The father was born in Schenectady, New York, on the 
18th of February, 1855, and when a youth of fourteen came west with his 
parents, the family settling in Winneshiek county, Iowa, on the 17th of March, 
1869. He attended the Breckenridge Institute at Decorah and his excellent train- 
ing in this institution is indicated in the fact that he later became one of the 
best teachers of this county. He first taught in the country districts and sub- 
sequently became an instructor in the West Side school, where he made an excel- 
lent record and won a reputation which led to his nomination and election on 
the democratic ticket as county superintendent of schools, in which position he 
ably served for six years or from 1885 until 1891. Prior to this time he had 
studied law in the office of Levi Bullis and had been admitted to practice in 
Iowa courts, but it was not until 1892 that he became an active practitioner at 
the local bar. Among his professional brethren he was known as an able attor- 
ney and safe counselor. He served the city as its legal adviser for four years 
and had just begun to enjoy a gratifying and lucrative practice when stricken 
with disease. His political allegiance was given to the democracy and he was 
well known as an active worker in the local ranks of his party. Several years 
prior to his death he became afflicted with what then seemed a trivial ailment 
but which specialists later declared to be incurable cancer. He passed away on 
the 4th of April, 1908, when fifty-three years of age. The period of his residence 
in Winneshiek county covered almost four decades and his acquaintance was a 
very wide one. 

On the 28th of December, 1875, Daniel Shea was joined in wedlock to Miss 
Mary A. Waters, by whom he had eight children, six of whom survive, namely: 
May; William R., of this review; Mrs. Jennie Weiser, of Minneapolis, Minne- 
sota ; Parnell ; Lester ; and Bernadine. Walter, the eldest son, passed away soon 
after attaining his majority, while the third daughter, Marjorie, died in 1904. 

William R. Shea was reared and educated in Decorah, attending the par- 
ochial school, the Decorah high school. Valder Business College and normal 
school. Going to St. Paul, Minnesota, he was there employed as clerk in a rail- 
road office for some time and subsequently accepted a position as bookkeeper in 
that city. From St. Paul he made his way to Seattle, Washington, where for 
some time he was employed as clerk in an abstract office. After returning home 
he accepted a position as deputy county auditor in 191 1 and on the 5th of Novem- 
ber, 1912, was elected county auditor of Winneshiek county. In that capacity 



52 PAST AXD PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

he has already proven himself an able official and one eminently fitted for his 
duties. 

On the iSth of January, 191 1, at Mason City, Iowa, Air. Shea was united 
in marriage to Miss Margaret Fitzsimmons. Fraternally he is identified with 
the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, 
being now esteemed loyal knight of Lodge No. 443, of the latter organization. 
He is a democrat in politics and a Catholic in religious faith. His salient char- 
acteristics are such as are worthy of emulation and have gained for him the 
respect and good-will of a large circle of warm friends. 



OGDEN CASTERTON. 



The name of Ogden Casterton is in various ways closely connected with 
the history and the development of Winneshiek county, where for forty years 
he successfully pursued agricultural occupations in Highland township, and 
he has also become connected in an influential way with banking, social and 
real-estate interests of this county. Living in well earned retirement in Decorah, 
at the age of eighty-three years, he is highly esteemed and honored as one of 
the pioneers by whose labors the present prosperous conditions have been 
brought about. Born in England, April 22, 1830, Ogden Casterton is a son 
of Zachariah and Jane Casterton, both natives of that country. There the 
father followed agricultural pursuits during all his life and passed away, as 
also did the mother. 

Ogden Casterton received his education in his native country, where he 
grew to young manhood, but in 1X52 came to America, and locating in Illinois 
rented a farm in that state, which he operated for four years. In 1856 he 
removed to Winneshiek county, moving on eighty acres of land which he had 
previously bought and setting about to clear and improve his property. As 
results attended his labors he increased his holdings from time to time until he 
at last owned a magnificent farm of thirteen hundred acres, all of which land 
was located in Highland township. As the years passed he brought this vast 
tract to a high state of productivity and instituted such improvements and 
equipment as he considered necessary for profitable cultivation. Prosperity 
attended his labors and in 1896 he was enabled to retire from the arduous 
work of the farm and removing to Decorah there purchased a fine home, but 
later built according to his own plans a mansion in which he now resides and 
which is considered one of the finest residences in the city. He has since 
become closely connected with various business interests of the city, in which 
he has become an important figure. He at present serves as vice president of 
the Citizens Savings Bank, beside holding bank stock of various kinds outside 
of Winneshiek county. He is also a substantial stockholder in the Winneshiek 
Hotel Company and the Swenson Valve Company. Moreover, he has heavily 
invested in city real estate, owning several valuable business blocks in Decorah. 

In 1852 Mr. Casterton was united in marriage to Miss Mary Kew, a daughter 
of William and Jane Kew, natives of England. The father occupied himself 
as a laborer in his native country, but on coming to America engaged in the 



PAST AND PRESENT OE WINNESHIEK COUNTY 55 

operation of a farm in Illinois until his death. The family then removed to 
Rockwell, Iowa, where a few days later the death of the mother occurred. 
.Mr. and Mrs. Casterton were the parents of ten children, namely: William 
O., a farmer of Winneshiek county; Emma J., the wife of Samuel liaise, who 
farms near Florence, South Dakota ; Ellen, who married Isaac Fawcett, resid- 
ing at Maple, Minnesota; Mary A., the wife of Thomas Ryan, residing at 
La Crosse, Wisconsin; Carrie, the widow of J. F. Humphrey, residing in North 
Dakota ; Claire, who married Gordon F. Humphrey and they reside in North 
Dakota; Bertha, the wife of Archibald H. Bryant, an agriculturist of High- 
land township, Winneshiek county; Grace, the wife of William Aiken, who 
resides in Ventura, California; Charles O., who has agricultural interests in 
Highland township, this county; and Nettie, the wife of Granville Fawcett, 
of Maple, Minnesota. Mrs. Casterton passed away May 23, 1910. at the age 
of nearly eighty-one years, having been born August 12. 1829. 

However, Mr. Casterton's activities have not only been confined to busi- 
ness interests, for he has also served effectively for a number of years as 
justice of the peace, filling this position with such fairness and impartiality 
that high commendation has been accorded him. While living on his farm 
he also served in various minor capacities, always manifesting a helpful interest 
in carrying responsibilities of American citizenship. Politically he is a demo- 
crat and his religion is that of the Episcopal church. A resident of Winneshiek 
county for nearly six decades, he has not only been an interested witness of 
the changes that have occurred, but has been a helpful and cooperant factor 
in the general advancement, and the honors which come to him on account of 
his attainments and on account of his long years of assiduous labor are well 
earned and well merited. 



W r ILLIAM EHLER. 



A valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres is the property of William 
Ehler, whose home is on section 12, Washington township. He has resided here 
since his birth and is today classed among the progressive farmers and exten- 
sive stock-raisers of his native community, his success coming as a direct result 
of his industry and ability. He was born on the 3d of March, 1873, and is 
a son of Barney and Johannah (Hunker) Ehler, natives of Germanv, who came 
to America and settled in Washington township, upon the farm where the sub- 
ject of this review now resides, in 1859. The father engaged in agricultural 
pursuits during the remainder of his life, dying June 10, 1888. His wife resides 
upon the homestead at the age of eighty-seven years. To their union were born 
four children : William, of this review ; Lizzie, who married Frank Thuente, 
of Washington township; Joseph, who resides in Ossian; and Henry, of Kings- 
bury county, South Dakota. 

William Ehler was reared upon his father's farm in Washington township 
and spent his childhood assisting in its cultivation, becoming before he was of 
age a practical and progressive agriculturist. In 1904 he purchased the home- 
stead of one hundred and sixty acres and upon this carried on general farming 



56 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

and stock-raising, his business interests being well conducted and, therefore, im- 
portant and profitable. He has made substantial improvements upon the farm, 
erecting the necessary farm buildings and installing modern and labor-saving 
machinery, and his property is today one of the finest and best equipped in this 
section of Winneshiek county. 

On the 23d of October, 1906, Mr. Elder was united in marriage ito Miss Rosie 
Mienert, and to their union were born two children: Felix, whose birth occurred 
January 1, 1908; and Ida Annie, born January 14, 1913. Mr. Elder gives his 
allegiance to the democratic party, having served as road supervisor for two 
years, and his religious views are in accord with the doctrines of the Roman 
Catholic church. Everything that pertains to the welfare and advancement of 
his native section receives his indorsement and hearty support and in the com- 
munity where he was born and where his entire life has been spent he commands 
the confidence and regard of all who know him. 



MICHAEL A. HARMON. 

Michael A. Harmon, who has been continuously engaged in the practice of 
law at Decorah for the past twenty-three years, having a handsomely equipped 
office in the National Bank building, has also ably served as city solicitor for - 
twelve years, from 1900 to K)i2. His birth occurred in Canoe township, Win- 
neshiek county, Iowa, on the 13th of January, 1856, his parents being Bernard 
and Elizabeth (Fox) Harmon, both of whom were natives of Ireland. The 
father emigrated to America in 1837. locating first in Quebec, Canada, and later 
crossing the border into the United States and settling in Louisiana, where he 
was engaged in the contracting business for several years. Removing to Ken- 
tucky, he purchased a farm which he operated for several years and then went to 
Chicago but did not believe that the place held out any prospects and refused 
an offer of one hundred and sixty acres of land on what is now West Madison 
street, one of the principal thoroughfares of the western metropolis. In 1850 
he came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and entered one hundred and sixty acres 
of land in Canoe township, which he improved and cultivated for ten years. On 
the expiration of that period he disposed of the property and took up his abode 
in Decorah, where he spent the remainder of his life, passing away in 1867. 
His wife was called to her final rest in the year 1896. 

Michael A. Harmon was reared and educated in this county, attending the 
district schools and the Decorah public schools. After completing his education 
he taught in the town and country schools for a period of ten years, imparting 
clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he had acquired. Having de- 
termined to make the practice of law his life work, he began the study of that 
profession under the direction of Judge Cooley and in June. 1881, was admitted 
to the bar. In 18S3 he was elected county recorder and served in that capacity 
for three terms or until 1889. The following year he began practice and has 
remained an able representative of the legal fraternity in Decorah to the present 
time, maintaining a handsomely equipped office in the National Bank building 
and owning a splendid law library. His success in a professional way affords 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 57 

the best evidence of his capabilities in this line. He is a strong advocate with 
the jury and concise in his appeals before the court. Much of the success which 
has attended him in his professional career is undoubtedly due to the fact that 
in no instance will he permit himself to go into court with a case unless he has 
absolute confidence in the justice of his client's cause. Basing his efforts on this 
principle, from which there are far too many lapses in professional ranks, it 
naturally follows that he seldom loses a case in whose support he is enlisted. 
Mr. Harmon owns farm land in this county as well as city property in Decorah 
and successfully deals in real estate in connection with the practice of law. He is 
unmarried and makes his home with relatives in his own residence on Vernon 
street. 

Politically Mr. Harmon is a republican, in 1900 he was appointed city 
solicitor and during twelve years ably discharged the duties devolving upon him 
in that connection. For the past sixteen years he has served as a commissioner 
of insanity. Fraternally he is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order 
of Elks, being a charter member of Lodge No. 443. In religious faith he is a 
Catholic. His entire life has been spent in Winneshiek county and he enjoys an 
enviable reputation in professional and public life, while in social circles he is 
popular and esteemed. 



BARNARD GEHLING. 



No farmer in Winneshiek county has achieved greater success in agricul- 
tural pursuits than has Barnard Gehling, whose attractive homestead lies in 
Washington township and comprises one hundred and seventy acres. This is 
a portion of the farm upon which he was born on the 28th of May, 1868, and 
his entire life has been spent upon the property. He is a son of Henry and Clara 
(Leitkenhaus) Gehling, natives of Germany, the former of whom came to 
America when he was eighteen years of age, locating first in Wisconsin. From 
that state he came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, after a few years and engaged in 
farming in Washington township, accumulating extensive holdings and owning 
at the time of his death about three hundred and ten acres. More extended 
mention of his life activity is made in connection with the sketch of Frank 
Gehling. 

Barnard Gehling was reared under the parental roof and in his childhood 
assisted with the work of the homestead, learning all the details of farm opera- 
tion. When the estate was divided he received as his share one hundred and 
seventy acres of choice land and upon this he has since resided, its excellent con- 
dition reflecting his many years of careful supervision and well directed labor. 
He gives a great deal of time to the cultivation of his fields but his live-stock 
interests also claim a part of his attention. In all his work he is energetic and 
determined, brooking no obstacles that can be overcome by persistent and hon- 
orable labor, and his success places him today among Winneshiek county's pro- 
gressive and able native sons. 

On the 9th of October, 1900, Mr. Gehling was united in marriage to Miss 
Elizabeth Bulleman, and they became the parents of five children: a daughter, 



58 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

who died in infancy; Henry J., who passed away in childhood; a son, who died 
in infancy; Roman Powell, who was born April 24, 1907; and Gregor Charles, 
born in January, 1910. 

Mr. Gehling gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and is a 
member of the Roman Catholic church, being also affiliated with the Roman 
Catholic Protective Association. Well known in Washington township and 
throughout Winneshiek county by reason of his long period of residence here, 
he is accounted one of the active workers and progressive farmers of the locality 
and has the unqualified confidence and esteem of the entire community. 



R. K. ULEN. 



An enterprising and progressive spirit and an unfaltering determination, 
guided and controlled by sound and practical business judgment, have formed 
the basis of the success of R. K. Ulen and have brought him to a position among 
the extensive landowners and prosperous farmers of Winneshiek county. He 
began life as a poor boy and has worked his own way steadily upward to pros- 
perity, his present success crowning many years of earnest and unremitting 
labor. He was born in Hallingdal, Norway, on the 9th of August, 1849, an d is 
a son of Knute and Rindy (Olson) Ulen, natives of that country, where the 
father engaged in farming until 1857. In that year they crossed the Atlantic to 
America and located near Spring Grove, .Minnesota, the father purchasing land 
in Fillmore county. After improving this he disposed of his holdings and bought 
a farm in Clay county which he operated for the remainder of his life, passing 
away in 1893. He had long survived his wife, whose death occurred in 1866. 

R. K. Ulen was about eight years of age when he was brought by his parents 
to America and he settled with them in Minnesota, where he acquired a very 
limited education, taking advantage when he could of such opportunities as the 
district afforded. He became a wage earner when he was nine years of age and 
from that time until he had attained his majority worked at farm labor in the 
employ of others, becoming during that period thoroughly familiar with the 
best agricultural methods. During the last nine seasons he drove four yoke of 
oxen, breaking new land, but when he was twenty-one he gave up this occupa- 
tion and came to Winneshiek county, where he purchased forty acres on sec- 
tions 17 and 18, Decorah township. After clearing and improving this he pur- 
chased more land and now owns three hundred and sixty-five acres adjoining the 
city of Decorah. This property he has since continued to operate and by con- 
stantly following the most progressive and practical methods in its cultivation 
has made it one of the finest and best improved farms in this section of the 
state. He owns in addition one hundred and sixty acres in North Dakota and 
for seventeen years operated an extensive dairy business, running milk routes in 
Decorah. His interests have always been carefully and capably conducted, for 
he is a resourceful, farsighted and discriminating business man and the success 
which he enjoys is well deserved and has always been worthily used. 

On December 17, 1871, Mr. Ulen was united in marriage to Miss Bertha 
Oualley, a daughter of Gilbert Peterson and Bertha (Oleson) Qualley, 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 59 

born at Vestre Slidre Valders, Norway, who came to America and located in 
Minnesota, where the father engaged in farming for a number of years. He 
later disposed of his holdings there and came to Winneshiek county, buying a 
small place near Decorah, whereon he resided until his death. His wife has also 
passed away. Mr. and Airs. Ulen became the parents of nine children, four of 
whom are living, namely: George and Peter, at home; Edward, who is operating 
one of his father's farms ; and Isabella, also at home. 

Mr. Ulen is a member of the Lutheran church and he gives his political 
allegiance to the republican party although he, has never been active as an office 
seeker. He has always preferred to give his undivided attention to his business 
affairs, for he commenced life empty-handed, knowing that he must depend 
solely upon his own labors for advancement. He started out a poor boy and 
whatever success he has achieved is attributable entirely to his own perseverance 
and capable control of his business affairs. In all of his dealings he has been 
strictly honorable and he is today one of the large landowners of the county, 
having accumulated a substantial fortune. 



ENGEL MIKELSON. 



Engel Mikelson is numbered among the early settlers in Winneshiek county 
and is today one of the prosperous farmers and stock-raisers of Decorah town- 
ship, where he owns three hundred and sixty acres of fine land. He is a native 
of Norway, born in April, 1834, a son of Mikel and Anna (Johnson) Samuel- 
son, the former a prosperous farmer in his native country. The parents never 
came to America. 

Engel Mikelson was reared and educated in Norway and until he was twenty- 
two years of age lived with his parents, aiding his father in the operation of the 
homestead and becoming thoroughly familiar with agricultural methods. In 
1856 he crossed the Atlantic to America and in 1857 came to Iowa, settling in 
Winneshiek county, where he bought eighty acres of land lying on section 18, 
Decorah township. To this he later added another tract on section 17, accumu- 
lating three hundred and sixty acres which he has since improved and developed. 
By following progressive and practical methods he has made this an excellent 
and productive property and it reflects everywhere his many years of careful 
supervision and well directed labor. In addition to general farming Mr. Mikel- 
son operates a dairy upon his farm, keeping a number of milch cows, and he 
is a breeder of thoroughbred stock, these branches of his business forming an 
important source of income to him. 

In June. 1865, Mr. Mikelson was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Dahle, 
a daughter of Iver and Anna Dahle, natives of Norway. The father died in 
that country and the mother afterward came to America, locating in Winne- 
shiek county, Iowa, about the year i860. Mr. and Mrs. Mikelson became the 
parents of ten children, seven of whom survive: Mikel, aged forty-four, a farmer 
in Madison township ; Anna, aged forty-one, who is the wife of Gust Frick, of 
Chicago; Lena, aged thirty-nine, who married Sam Odson, of the state of Wash- 



CO PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

ington; John, aged thirty-six. who resides in Portland, Oregon; Henry, aged 
thirty-three; Amelia, aged thirty-one; and Edward, aged twenty-four. 

Mr. Mikelson is a stockholder in the Farmers Creamery Company and the 
Farmers Hog Company of Decorah and his ability is widely recognized in busi- 
ness circles. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and his 
religious views are in accord with the doctrines of the Lutheran church. He 
has resided in Winneshiek county for over half a century and the years have 
witnessed his constantly increasing success and prosperity. Business men respect 
him for his high standards of integrity and his honorable dealings and wherever 
he is known he holds the confidence, esteem and regard of an extensive circle of 
friends. 



BENJAMIN J. McKAY. 

The name of Benjamin J. McKay, cashier of the Citizens Savings Bank 
of Decorah, is widely and favorably known in this city by the general public 
and held in high esteem by his confreres. Comparatively a young man, he has 
demonstrated his qualities as a financier by successfully administering the 
duties of his important position in such a way as to greatly extend the business 
of the institution with which he is connected. Born March 4, 1874, in Decorah. 
Iowa, he is a son of Alexander and Mary (Tobin) McKay, natives of Ireland. 
The father came to America with his parents when a boy of about fifteen 
years, the family locating in New York. A short time afterward he came to 
Decorah where he learned the wagon maker's trade under Benjamin Barfoot, 
a business which he ever after successfully followed in Decorah. being so 
occupied until his death, which occurred April 5. 1906, when he was seventy- 
six years of age. His wife is still living at the age of seventy-three. 

Benjamin J. McKay was reared under the parental roof and educated in 
Decorah. graduating from the Immaculate Conception Academy with the class 
of 1892. He prepared himself for a commercial course by entering Valder 
Business College, from which he was graduated in 1893. Fully prepared in 
theory for a successful career, he then entered the Citizens Savings Bank as 
bookkeeper and, his ability and honesty of purpose soon being recognized, he 
was elected assistant cashier in 181)7 and served as such until 1906, when he 
was chosen to the important position of cashier. He has since filled this 
office with great circumspection and through his labors has largely extended 
the bank's relations. Deposits have increased under his management to a 
remarkable degree and the resources of the bank are such that it is considered 
one of the strongest institutions of its kind in this section, a position which it 
has largely gained through the faithful performance of the duties of Mr. 
McKay. 

On October 20, 1897, Mr. McKay was married to Miss Grace Allen Jen- 
nisch, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jennisch, the latter of whom passed 
away when her daughter was but an infant. Mr. Jennisch was a native of 
Germany who came to this country in early life, locating in Decorah when it 
was in its pioneer period. Here he followed the blacksmith business until his 




BENJAMIN .1. M. KAY 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 6:5 

death, which took place in 1896. Mr. and Mrs. McKay were the parents of 
four children : Katharine, aged ten years ; Charles Alexander, five years of age ; 
Gretchen Marie, aged one year; and Virginia, a twin sister of Gretchen, who 
died September 22, 1912. 

The financial interests of Mr. McKay also extend to other institutions for 
he is a director of the Calmar Savings Bank and also a stockholder of the Burr 
Oak Savings Bank. He owns an attractive home on John street where often 
gather the many friends of Mr. and Mrs. McKay. Fraternally he is con- 
nected with the Knights of Columbus and is also prominent in the local Elks 
lodge, of which he is a past exalted ruler and treasurer. His religious faith 
is that of the Catholic church and he and his wife take an active and helpful 
interest in the organization and its allied societies. Politically he is a repub- 
lican. An upright man, with ability in his chosen field, Mr. McKay is a 
distinct force for advancement along financial lines in this city and while he 
has attained a position of prominence for himself his labors have been a factor 
in the upbuilding of Decorah. 



TULIUS E. LINDE. 



A native of Winneshiek county, Julius E. Linde holds the important posi- 
tion of cashier of the Calmar Savings Bank, of Calmar, Iowa, although he has 
not vet passed his twenty-third birthday. His career stands in evidence of the 
fact that more and more important business affairs are entrusted to young men, 
who are proving their ability by the excellent results which they obtain and by 
the progressive policies which they advocate. Born in Ridgeway, Winneshiek 
county, Iowa, in a log cabin on Turkey river on October 10, 1890, he is a son of 
Ole J. and Emily ( Hoppenstead ) Linde, the father of Long Prairie, Illinois, and 
the mother a native of Winneshiek county. The former was brought here by 
his parents in 1864, when nine years of age, and in this county he was reared and 
educated, remaining at work for his father, who is still living at the age of 
seventy-nine years. He remained on the home farm until he was of age, when 
he set himself up independently, renting a farm until he had acquired the means 
to buy one hundred and sixty acres of land in Lincoln township. This purchase 
was made in 1892. and he has since engaged in the improvement and cultivation 
of his land, the years having brought him prosperity in return for his incessant 
toil, his energy and his industry. The five children in this family are: Julius 
E., of this review ; and Alletta, Hattie. Owen and Andrew. 

Julius E. Linde was reared upon the home farm and received his education 
in the schools of Ridgeway and Drake University of Des Moines, Iowa. Previous 
to his matriculation, however, he had already served as assistant cashier of the 
Merchants State Bank at Vela, North Dakota, for two years. His university- 
course was cut short by his acceptance of the office of cashier of the Calmar Sav- 
ings Bank, in which capacity he is still active. Alert, conscientious, capable, he 
brings to the performance of his duties all the qualities necessary to make a suc- 
cess of his position and expand the business of the bank. Although yet quite 



64 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

young for a man in a position of such responsibility, he has become generally 
recognized as an able banker and is well informed upon all financial transactions 
and situations, making use of his intimate knowledge in the interest and upbuild- 
ing of the banking house of which he is at the head. Politically Mr. Linde is a 
republican, and his religious adherence is given to the Lutheran church. If his 
early success is any indication of what the future holds in store for him, a con- 
spicuously brilliant career may be prophesied for him — a career that will result 
not only in his individual prosperity but will play a role in the commercial advance- 
ment and development of Winneshiek county and particularly of his locality. 



OLE E. BAKKE. 



Iowa offers a splendid opportunity to the farmer, for the land is rich and 
productive and responds readily to the care and labor bestowed upon it. One of 
the excellent properties in Frankville township is known as The Oaks. It is 
a place of four hundred acres, in the midst of which stands a large, fine resi- 
dence erected by Ole E. Bakke, who was the owner of the place. It was upon 
this farm that he was born July 22, 1856, his parents being Erick O. and Gunhilda 
Ramsey Bakke. both of whom were natives of Norway. The father was born 
April 1, 1824. They were married in their native land, in Urlandvangers church, 
on the 30th of October, 1840, and in the spring of 1851 crossed the Atlantic to 
America. They remained for a brief period in Dane county, Wisconsin, and 
then came to W r inneshiek county, Iowa, settling in Frankville township. Mr. 
Bakke had a little money which he had saved when in his native land. That 
gave him a start and in the course of years he became a wealthy farmer. He 
purchased land in Frankville township and continued to make his home thereon 
until after the death of his wife, which occurred on the 10th of March, 1903, 
when she was eighty-five years of age. Mr. Bakke passed away on the 29th 
of January, 1908, at the age of eighty-three years, nine months and twenty-nine 
days. In their family were four children : Anna, the deceased wife of Gilbert 
Ness; Isabella, the deceased wife of Andrew Traaserud ; Ole E. ; and Carolina, 
the widow of T. O. Storla of Decorah township. The parents were members 
of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church and their remains now rest in 
Washington Prairie cemetery. 

Ole E. Bakke was reared on the old homestead and in his youthful days 
supplemented his public-school education by a course in Luther College at Decorah 
and in the State University at Madison, Wisconsin. He also pursued a com- 
mercial course at Valparaiso, Indiana. He was reared to the occupation of farm- 
ing and made it his life work. He owned four hundred acres of land and his 
place, known as The Oaks, has ever been regarded as one of the finest farms 
of Winneshiek county. He carried on general farming and stock-raising and 
his fields brought forth rich harvests, owing to the practical and progressive 
methods which he utilized. As a stock dealer, too, he conducted an extensive 
business, purchasing considerable stock which he took to the Chicago market 
and there sold. He was active along many lines and all that he did brought to 
him success. He was a member of the creamery firm of Ramsey, Johnson & 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 65 

Bakke, of Glenwood township, and he had interests in Wharton county, Texas, 
still in possession of his family. In all of his business affairs he displayed notable 
enterprise, keen discernment and capable management, and he carried forward 
to successful completion whatever he undertook. Moreover, he was strictly 
honorable and reliable in all his dealings and the most envious could not grudge 
him his success. 

On the 25th of October, 1883, Mr. Bakke was united in marriage to Miss 
Ellen Marie Sander, who was born in Decorah township, October 3, 1857, a 
daughter of B. and Karen (Huseby) Sander, who were natives of Norway and 
were reared and married there. They came to the United States about 1850 
and spent their remaining days upon a farm in this county. Their family num- 
bered three sons and four daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Bakke became the parents 
of nine children : Isabella Antoinette, Clara Gunhilde, Erick Arthur, Elmer 
Orlando. Philip Henry, Ruth Elizabeth, Vernon Lorenzo, Esther Lillian and 
Ole Ernest. The two sons Erick and Philip are now studying in the State 
Agricultural College at Ames. Erick and Orlando spent four years in Luther 
College at Decorah, while Philip had a commercial course in Decorah. The 
daughter Clara is a graduate of the high school at Decorah and is now engaged 
in teaching. 

In his political views Ole E. Bakke was a republican and held various town- 
ship offices, the duties of which he discharged with promptness and fidelity. He 
held membership in the Lutheran church and he led an upright, honorable life, 
guided by his Christian belief. He was always a resident of Winneshiek county, 
spending his entire life upon the old homestead farm in Frankville township, 
and that his record was ever a commendable one is shown by the fact that 
many of his stanchest friends were those who knew him from his boyhood. He 
died at Elkader, Iowa, July 13, 1902, and his death was an occasion of deep regret 
to all with whom he had been brought in contact. 



JACOB L. HAMRE. 



One of the most valued and representative of the younger generation of busi- 
ness men in Decorah is Jacob L. Hamre, the owner of a large shoe store, in con- 
nection with which he operates a shoemaking and repairing department. His 
birth occurred in Vestre Stedre, Valders, Norway, February 12, 1S83, and he is 
a son of Lars H. and Berit (Halden) Hamre, natives of Norway. The father 
was a farmer by occupation, continuing in that line of work until his death, 
which occurred in 1900. His wife survives him and makes her home in Norway. 

Jacob L. Hamre acquired his education in the public schools of his native 
country and after laying aside his books learned the shoemaker's trade, follow- 
ing this line in Norway until 1902. In that year he emigrated to America and 
located in Winneshiek county, where for one year he worked upon a farm. He 
then moved into the city, where he obtained employment in a tailor shop, remain- 
ing in this connection for four years thereafter. At the end of that time he 
established himself in business as a shoemaker, concentrating his attention upon 
this line of work until 1909, when he added a complete stock of shoes, owning 



66 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

today one of the finest shoe stores in the city. For his repair department he has 
bought the most modern labor-saving equipment, including a finishing machine 
and one for sewing on soles. In the years of his connection with business inter- 
ests of Decorah his patronage has increased rapidly in volume and importance 
and it has reached gratifying proportions at the present time. Mr. Hamre owns 
a modern residence in this city and a one hundred and sixty acre farm in South 
Dakota which he proved up as a homestead claim. 

In March, 1905, Mr. Hamre was united in marriage to Miss Anna F. Aspmo, 
a daughter of Edward and Gurine (Arntsen) Aspmo, natives of Norway, where 
the father is engaged in agricultural pursuits near Tromsoe. Mrs. Hamre was 
born in Norway in August, 1870. She and her husband have three children: 
Louise, aged seven; Edward O., who is six years of age; and Olga C, aged nine 
months. 

Mr. Hamre is a member of the Lutheran church and is connected fraternally 
with the Order of Owls, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Norske 
Selskab. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is inter- 
ested in public affairs although not active as an office seeker. He is a young 
man of energy, resource and capacity and his usefulness will undoubtedly be 
limited only by the opportunities by which he is surrounded. 



O. G. HAUGEN. 



A native of Norway and one of that large colony of sturdy sons of the 
Norseland who make their home in Winneshiek county, Iowa, O. G. Haugen has 
here found the opportunities to become prosperous and now owns two hundred 
and thirty acres of valuable land on sections 2 and 3. Springfield township. He 
was born March 15, 1S47. a son of Germund O. and. Mary (Evenson) Haugen, 
natives of Norway. The parents came to this country in 1855 an d it took them 
nine weeks to cross the Atlantic. Coming directly to Winneshiek county, the 
father arrived here when pioneer conditions still prevailed and purchasing one 
hundred and twenty acres of land in Springfield township, set himself to the 
task of clearing it and bringing it under cultivation. He was a cabinet-maker 
by trade and during his first year here worked at that occupation in Decorah. 
receiving one dollar per day, while he hired a man to look after his agricultural 
interests, paying him twenty-five cents. These figures tend to give an indica- 
tion as to the value of money in those early days. The father improved the 
farm, bringing it gradually to a good state of productivity, until his death, which 
occurred in [866. The mother survived him many years, her demise taking place 
in March, 1913, at the age of ninety-one years and seven months. 

O. G. Haugen was about eight years of age when he came to America with 
his parents. When of school age he began to attend the district school near his 
father's farm and subsequently took a course at Worthington's Commercial Col- 
lege at Madison, Wisconsin, graduating from that institution with the class of 
1872. Returning home, he then rented the family homestead and operated other 
rented farms for about ten years with ever increasing success, being enabled at 
the end of that period to acquire by purchase one hundred and twenty acres of 




MR. AND MRS. 0. G. HAUGEN 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 69 

land on sections 2 and 3 in Springfield township. Energetic and industrious, he 
gave his whole attention to clearing and improving the property, erecting build- 
ings and installing machinery, and that he has succeeded is evident from the 
fact that the land which he purchased at thirteen dollars per acre is now valued 
at about one hundred and twenty-five dollars an acre. In 1909 Mr. Haugen 
bought one hundred and ten adjoining acres and he has ever since operated his 
two tracts together, his annual returns increasing in a gratifying degree. 

In September, 1877, Mr. Haugen was united in marriage to Miss ( )lena Viste, 
a daughter of Ole and Sigrid (Oppen) Viste, both natives of Norway. The 
father emigrated to America in 1853, locating first in Wisconsin, but the fol- 
lowing year came to Winneshiek county, where he engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits. He retired from the active cultivation of bis farm in 1895 and passed 
away March 8, 1905, after having attained the venerable age of eighty-eight years. 
The mother is still living and now makes her home, at the age of eighty-four 
years, with her son, Olaus Viste. Mr. and Mrs. Haugen became the parents of 
eight children, as follows : Gustav, a resident of North Dakota ; Thomas, at 
home ; Albert ; Edwin ; Mary, who lives in Decorah ; Bertha, a trained nurse ; 
Agnes, in Decorah, who is training to become a nurse ; and Sophia, whose demise 
occurred in March, 1913. 

Mr. Haugen has ever taken a deep interest in matters of public import and 
upon the foundation of the new progressive party eagerly embraced its principles 
in the hope that by the realization of its ideals may be obtained valuable improve- 
ments which will relieve politics of contamination and restore to the masses 
political power. He also believes that the new party is predestined to relieve the 
living conditions of the wage earner and that with its coming a new era of greater 
prosperity and greater freedom will dawn upon the nation. He has been active 
in the public life of his community, having served as township assessor for the 
past three years and has also served as trustee. He is a stockholder in the Nord- 
ness Creamery Company and Nordness Telephone Company, having formerly 
been manager of the former. Later he was for a time in charge of the Red Oak 
Creamery and is still interested in the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah. His 
religious faith is that of the Lutheran church and he exemplifies its teachings in 
bis everyday life. He has become a valuable and useful factor in his commu- 
nity and is highly respected and esteemed for what he has accomplished and as one 
of those who has witnessed the evolution of this district from primitive condi- 
tions to the present state of civilization, — one, who not only has witnessed the 
development, but who has actively labored to bring it about. 



THEODORE H. ORVELLA. 

There is no more progressive and able farmer in Winneshiek county than 
Theodore H. Orvella, whose fine homestead of one hundred and sixty acres lies 
on sections 14, 13, 23 and 24, Springfield township, and constitutes the farm upon 
which his entire life has been spent. Upon this property he was born September 
1, 1866, a son of Hans and Ingeborg Orvella, of whom more extended mention 
is made elsewhere in this work. 



70 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

In his childhood Theodore H. Orvella aided with the operation of the farm, 
dividing his time between these duties and attendance at the district school, and 
becoming while still a young man an able and progressive agriculturist. Eventu- 
ally he rented the homestead and thus conducted it for about twenty years, or 
until after the death of his father, when he purchased the properly which he has 
since improved and operated along progressive and modern lines. Upon this 
one hundred and sixty acres lying on sections 14, 13, 23 and 24, there are four- 
teen modern buildings all in good repair and the equipment of the farm is 
thorough in every respect, the machinery being all modern and up-to-date. Every- 
thing about the property reflects the owner's careful and practical supervision 
and the farm mav well be ranked among the best improved and best equipped 
in this section of the state. 

Mr. Orvella is a stockholder in the Nordness Creamery Company, the Nord- 
ness Telephone Company and the Union Produce Company of Ossian and is 
widely known as a man of resourcefulness and discriminating business ability. 
He is a devout member of the Lutheran church and his political allegiance is 
given to the republican party. In the community where he resides and where 
his entire life has been spent he is widely known and respected, his sterling 
qualities of character having gained him the confidence and good-will of all who 
are associated with him. 



SIMON R. YAGER. 



The activities of Simon R. Yager have in various ways influentially affected 
the city of his residence, for he has since 1893 conducted the Calmar Courier 
and has here, since 1884, in partnership with a brother, conducted a jewelry 
store which is one of the foremost establishments of its kind in this part of the 
county. A man of ability and public spirit, he has also served as city clerk and 
mayor and now holds a position in connection with the school board. A native 
of Winneshiek county, Iowa, he was born May 30. 1861, his parents being Henry 
and Mary ( Musser) Yager, the father a native of Ohio and the mother of 
Pennsylvania. The father was one of the pioneer settlers of Winneshiek county, 
coming here in 1857. He bought a farm at that time which he improved and cul- 
tivated until the fall of 1892, in which year he was elected county treasurer, serv- 
ing one term. He then resided in Calmar for one year, removing at the end 
of that period to Riceville, this state, where he resided until his death, which 
occurred on March 10, 1908, at the age of eighty-one years. The mother is still 
living at Riceville, Iowa, at the age of eighty-eight years. 

Simon R. Yager was reared at home and in the acquirement of his education 
attended the district schools and also Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. He 
remained with his family on the farm until he reached his majority and then 
taught country school for about four years, learning at the end of that period 
the jeweler's and watchmaker's trade, which he followed for a few years. He 
then learned the trade of printer and in 1893 issued the Calmar Courier, which 
he has conducted ever since. It is one of the substantial papers of the county. 
In the passing years it has increased in circulation and in value as an advertising 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 71 

medium. Mr. Yager follows the most up-to-date methods, giving his readers 
valuable news service, comprising not only items of local interest but also detailed 
accounts of the happenings in the state, nation and world. As he has built up 
a circulation his advertising space has increased, making his paper one of the 
valuable properties in the county. His editorials are lucid and to the point and 
are often employed to further the public spirit of his locality and the promotion 
of public improvements of importance. In 1884 Mr. Yager, in partnership with 
his brother Franklin, established a jewelry store in Calmar, which they have 
successfully conducted since, it being the oldest enterprise of the kind in the 
city. This establishment is conducted under the name of Yager Brothers, while 
his newspaper interests carries the name of Calmar Courier, S. R. Yager, editor 
and proprietor. The success Mr. Yager has made is the more creditable as he 
started out in life without means or influence, having but five dollars in his 
pocket when arriving in Calmar. He owns the building which is occupied by the 
jewelry store and printing establishment, the year of its erection being 1895. 
As prosperity has come to him he has made other judicious investments, owning 
valuable farm lands in other states and city property in Calmar besides his hand- 
some residence. 

On April 27, 1888, Mr. Yager married Miss Emma Desmond, a daughter of 
James and Susan (Heberling) Desmond, natives of Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. 
Yager have three children : Harry, aged twenty-four, who assists his father ; 
Walter, twenty-one years of age, who is employed in the same manner; and 
Florence, aged fourteen, still attending school. 

In politics Mr. Yager is independent, following his own judgment in sup- 
porting candidates. He attends the Methodist church. Fraternally he belongs 
to the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias. A man strongly marked by char- 
acter, he has come to be recognized as a forceful element in the community, 
whose activities have strongly affected the commercial and public life of the 
city. His sterling traits of character have won him the high regard and con- 
fidence of all who know him, and while he has attained individual success has 
been a serviceable factor in the upbuilding of Calmar and the development of 
Winneshiek county. 



HENRY BRUENING. 



Through well directed business activity and enterprise Henry Bruening has 
gained recognition as one of the prosperous farmers of Winneshiek county. 
He owns a highly improved tract of land in Washington township and since his 
birth has lived in this community, his labors in his active years contributing not 
only to his own prosperity but proving also effective forces in advancing general 
development. He was born in Washington township, Winneshiek county, March 
3, 1872, and is a son of John and Christina (Wellert) Bruening. natives of 
Germany, who came to Iowa about 1863. The father purchased land in Winne- 
shiek county and continued to reside thereon until his death, which occurred in 
1882, he having survived his wife since 1879. They became the parents of eight 
children : Mary, deceased ; Herman and Mary, who have also passed away ; 



72 I 'AST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Henry, of this review ; John, who resides in Washington township ; Catherine, 
deceased; Antone, of Minnesota; and Elizabeth, who has passed away. 

Early familiar with the best agricultural methods and with all the details of 
farm operation. Henry Bruening began his independent career at the age of 
fourteen, working at farming in the employ of others and renting until 1902. 
In that year he purchased one hundred and ninety-five acres on sections 2 and 
3, Washington township, and upon this property he has since resided. He has 
made substantial improvements, erecting a fine modern dwelling, barns and out- 
buildings, and a silo with a capacity of one hundred and fifteen tons. He engages 
in general farming and stock-raising, his live-stock interests claiming a great 
deal of his attention. He raises and breeds fine grade hogs and this forms a 
profitable branch of his business. 

Mr. Bruening married, on the 3d of November. 1X96, Miss Mary Kennebeek, 
a daughter of John and Christina Kennebeck. natives of Germany, who after- 
ward came to Wisconsin, where they now reside. They became the parents of 
eleven children, eight of whom are still living. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. 
Bruening were born six children: Bernard J., whose birth occurred on the 28th 
of September. 1899; Elsie, who was born September 11, 1900, and who died 
June 11. of the following year; Charles, whose birth occurred March 2, 1902; 
Aloysius, born November 4, 10,04; Allien, August 29, 1900; and Clara, January 

14. 1909- 

Mr. Bruening is a member of the Roman Catholic church and politically 

gives his allegiance to the democratic party. He is an active and willing worker 
for the upbuilding and advancement of his native community and stands high in 
the regard of all who know him, while his acquaintance covers a wide territory, 
because of the extent of his business interests. 



HARRY E. MILLER. 



Since Harry E. Miller has occupied the position of county superintendent of 
schools of Winneshiek county the cause of education here has received a new 
impetus. By preparation he is well fitted to fill this important position, and the 
fate of the youth rests in good hands when under his guidance. Born in Germany, 
near the Holland border. November 9, 1877, ' le is a son °f John A. and Margaret 
(Grote) Miller. The father, a native of Germany and a farmer by occupation, 
came to the United States in 1879 and located in Buena Vista county, Iowa, 
there engaging in agricultural pursuits until March. 1913, when he sold his 
farm and removed to Los Angeles, California, to enjoy in well earned rest the 
competence which he had earned. His wife is also a native of Germany, their 
marriage taking place several years before they left the fatherland. 

In the acquirement of his education Harry E. Miller attended school in 
Storm Lake, Iowa, graduating from the high school there with the class of 
1897. He then began teaching school near his home, being so engaged for two 
years and then entered Buena Vista College, taking a two years' course and 
completing his studies at Charles City, Iowa, with the class of 1904, receiving 
fur his work the degree of 1!. A. Mr. Miller then taught science in the Emmets- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 73 

burg (Iowa) high school for two years, at the end of which period he was 
elected superintendent of schools at Clermont, Iowa, remaining in that position 
for the same period of time. He then went to Calmar, Winneshiek county, as 
superintendent of schools, discharging his duties with such efficiency and evident 
results that he was taken in view for the position of county superintendent. He 
resigned on Christmas day of 1912 to enter upon his new duties, having been 
elected on the republican ticket in the fall of that year. His wide experience 
and natural ability in dealing with teachers and children highly qualified him 
for his position and an era of progress in educational matters may well be pre- 
dicted under his administration. 

In August, 1904, Mr. Miller married Miss Matilda Martin, a daughter of 
Herman and Paulina (Stoelting) Martin, both of German descent but natives 
of this country. They made their home at Storm Lake, Iowa, at the time of the 
marriage of their daughter to our subject. There they still live, occupying a 
prominent position in the life of the community, where the father is well known 
in commercial circles as a contractor and builder. Mr. and Mrs. Miller have 
four children: Harriet, born June 7, 1905, who attends public school in Decorah; 
Ruth, born August 1, 1907, who also attends school; Katharyn, born April 6, 
1909; and Gladys, born December 5, 191 1. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Miller takes an active part in the public- 
life of Decorah and the county and is widely popular not only in the profession 
but with the general public, who rightfully expect great things from his admin- 
istration. Politically he is a stanch republican and both he and his wife give 
their adherence to the Methodist Episcopal church, of which they are devout 
members. Along professional lines Mr. Miller is a member of the Iowa State 
Teachers Association and also of the Big 5 Teachers Association, comprising five 
counties, and served last year as chairman of the executive committee and is now 
serving as president of the committee. Fraternally he is connected with the 
Masons, being a member of Copestone Lodge, No. 509, A. F. & A. M., of Calmar. 
It is a conspicuous compliment to the ability of Mr. Miller that he was carried 
to victory by his constituents to the important office which he now holds, and 
there is no doubt that he will justify the confidence reposed in him by a course 
of action which will mark his administration as one of the mijst beneficial to the 
interests of the county. 



JOHN J. BRUENING. 



Winneshiek county numbers among its valued and worthy native sons John 
J. Bruening, who since 1899 h as devoted practically all of his attention to the 
development and improvement of his farm of ninety-eight acres in Washington 
township. He was born on the 2d of June, 1874, and is a son of John Charles 
and Christina Bruening, of whom further mention is made on another page of 
this work. He began his independent career at the early age of thirteen, engaging 
in farming in the employ of others for some years thereafter. At the age of 
twenty-five years he was an able and practical agriculturist and he then pur- 
chased land of his own, buying the ninety-eight acres in Washington township 



74 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

upon which he now resides. His land is highly improved with the necessary 
buildings and equipment and is in an excellent state of cultivation, Mr. Bruening 
dividing his attention between the cultivation of his fields and the conduct of 
his extensive stock-raising interests. He is very careful in the operation of his 
property and has everything on hand with which to pursue farming by modern 
methods. 

Mr. Bruening married, on the 19th of October, 1897, Miss Anna Hemmer, 
a daughter of John and Mary Ann (Weller) Hemmer. natives of Germany, the 
former of whom came to America as a young man, locating in Winneshiek county, 
where he engaged in merchandising, dying when his daughter was only five years 
of age. He and his wife became the parents of five children : Mary and Henry, 
both deceased; Anna, the wife of the subject of this review; Catherine, who 
married Henry Zender, of Austin, Minnesota; and Barbara, who has passed 
away. The father had been previously married to Miss Louisa Votova, and to 
this union were born two children: Margaret, who married Victor Zender, of 
Cresco; and John, who resides in Austin, Iowa. After the death of John Hemmer 
his widow married George Wahnfurter, and they became the parents of two 
daughters : Barbara, the wife of Peter Zender, of Austin, Iowa ; and Elizabeth, 
who has passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Bruening became the parents of five 
children : Albert, who was born May 28, 1900, and who died October 25th of the 
same year; Edward Joseph, born May 18, 1902; Frances, who was born on the 
29th of June, 1906, and who died on the 8th of December, 1907; Marion, who 
was born April 23, 1909, passing away on the same day, and Margaret Regina, 
born on the 25th of February, I < ; 1 3 . 

Mr. Bruening gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and his 
religious views are in accord with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church. 
A man of excellent qualities of character, of strong and resolute purpose, indus- 
trious and enterprising, he is well known throughout the community for his 
uprightness and honesty and he merits and enjoys the respect and confidence 
of his neighbors and friends. 



WILLIAM M. LEI-.. 



A native of Decorah, William M. Lee, county engineer of Winneshiek 
county, is widely and favorably known by all, and most appreciated by those 
who have known him from his boyhood and who take an interest in his career. 
Born on September 6, 1887, he is a son of David and Mary (Tobiason) Lee. 
the former a native of Norway and the latter of this county. The father 
had learned the tailor's trade in his native land and after coming to America 
followed the same here. He first located in Wisconsin, remaining a short 
time there, but in 1871 came to Decorah and subsequently established, in part- 
nership with a brother, a merchant tailoring establishment which he conducted 
until his demise, which occurred in December, 1910. at the age of sixty vears. 
The mother survives at the age of fifty-seven years. 

William M. Lee was reared under the parental roof and. acquiring his 
education in the local schools, was graduated from the Decorah high school 




WILLIAM M. LEE 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 77 

with the class of 1906. To better prepare himself for a business career he then 
attended Valder Business College and subsequently entered the Iowa State 
University of Iowa City, where he took up an engineering course. Returning 
to Decorah he then accepted a position as deputy county surveyor under F. E. 
Cratsenberg, working in that capacity for two months, when, Mr. Cratsenberg 
resigning, Mr. Lee was appointed by the board of supervisors county sur- 
veyor on August 24, 1910. At the regular election of November 8, 1910, he 
was elected to that position and has served as such ever since although in 
July, 191 1, by a new law, the name of the office was changed from that of 
surveyor to that of engineer. On the 1st of May, 19 13, Mr. Lee was also 
appointed county highway engineer. 

Mr. Lee makes his home with his mother at 603 East Main street, Decorah. 
He is a member of the local fire department and politically is a republican, 
while his religion is that of the Lutheran church. While yet a young man 
he has made a notable record in an important county office and has demon- 
strated abilities which foretell a bright and prosperous future. 



OLE P. ODE. 



Holding a foremost position in the financial circles of Winneshiek county, 
Ole P. Ode has been in many ways instrumental in the general upbuilding of 
his locality. Not only is he cashier and manager of the Winneshiek County Bank 
of Calmar, in which he is also a director and stockholder, but is interested in 
a number of other important financial institutions in the county. Moreover, 
he has given evidence of his public spirit by acceptably filling various positions 
of trust, serving on the school board and doing efficient work as treasurer of 
Calmar and member of the council. Born in Springfield township, Winneshiek 
county, Iowa, on November 15, 1867, the parents of Mr. Ode are Peter G. and 
Jorend (Riesty) Ode, natives of Norway. The father came to America in the 
'50s and, locating in Winneshiek county, purchased land in Springfield township, 
which he cleared and improved indefatigably. He devoted himself to this labor, 
overcoming obstacles and enduring the hardships of pioneer life, his industry 
and energy carrying him to success, and he now owns in that section a valuable 
property which he has ever since operated. He is seventy-eight years of age 
and the mother is also living at the age of seventy-three. 

Ole P. Ode attended the district schools near his father's farm and Brecken- 
ridge Institute at Decorah in pursuing his education. He made himself useful 
on the farm and assisted his father until he reached the age of twenty-five, 
when he went to Decorah in order to enter the employ of the Winneshiek County 
Bank as bookkeeper on October 1, 1892. He remained in that capacity for two 
years, at the end of which time he was appointed assistant cashier, holding this 
position for two and a half years, when on June 1, 1897, he came to Calmar as 
cashier and manager of the Winneshiek County Bank, a branch of the Decorah 
institution, and has held that position ever since, being also a director and stock- 
holder. The bank is capitalized for twenty-five thousand dollars and he was one 
of its organizers. The wonderful growth of this institution is largely due to the 

Vol. II— 4 



78 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

industry, ability and experience of Mr. Ode, who has become recognized as one 
of the most able and shrewd financiers of this part of the state. He gives his 
closest attention to even the smallest detail of the work and there occurs nothing 
that escapes his attention. The list of depositors has largely increased since Mr. 
Ode has taken charge and the investments of the bank are so carefully made that 
it is justly considered one of the most conservative and sound in the state. This 
conservatism, however, is happily combined with a progressive policy of expansion, 
and as the bank extends credit, when justified, to legitimate new enterprises it has 
become an important factor in the general advancement of the city. 

On December 10, 1895, Mr. Ode married Miss Louise M. Davidson, a daughter 
of Gudmund and Liv ( Holverson ) Davidson, natives of Norway. The father 
upon coming to this country located at an early day in Wisconsin, where for 
a good many years he operated a farm, which he sold in order to retire, moving 
to Decorah, this state, which city he made his home until his death, which occurred 
in October, 191 o, at the age of eighty-nine years. The mother had preceded him 
in death, passing away on October 1, 1890, at the age of fifty-nine. Mr. and 
Mrs. Ode have two children : Olga J., aged sixteen ; and Paul G., aged thirteen. 

As his means and reputation have increased Mr. Ode has become importantly 
connected with other financial institutions, and is now a stockholder and director 
in the Home Savings Bank at Fort Atkinson, Iowa ; The Citizens Savings Bank 
at Spillville, this county ; and the Winneshiek County Bank at Ridgeway. Always 
interested in the cause of education, he does efficient service as treasurer of the 
school board, and has served with success as a member of the town council. 
Formerly he was also treasurer of Calmar. He owns a handsome home in that 
city, where he and his wife extend warm hearted hospitality to their many 
friends. Politically he is a republican and his religious faith is that of the 
Lutheran church. The Benevolent Protective Order of Elks carries his name 
on the roster of the Decorah lodge. As the chief officer of the Winneshiek 
County Bank, which owns the building it occupies, he holds one of the most 
influential positions in the commercial life of his community and is highly 
respected and esteemed for what he has accomplished and for the qualities of 
character which have made possible his success. 



P. A. KLINKENBERG. 



Great credit must be given Norway for the large number of citizens which 
she has furnished to Winneshiek county, and today this district is largely peopled 
by representatives in the second generation of those who came from the land 
of the midnight sun and took active part in the agricultural development of this 
section of the state. Of this class P. A. Klinkenberg is a representative. He 
was born May 26, 1857, on the farm which is yet his home, his parents being 
Martin and Mary (Iverson) Klinkenberg, both of whom were natives of Nor- 
way, the former born in the year 1823 and the latter in 1824. They crossed the 
Atlantic and came to Wisconsin in 1843, spent two years in that state, and in 
1845 came to Iowa, settling upon the farm on section 9, Frankville township, 
which is now the home of their son P. A. Klinkenberg. With characteristic 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 79 

energy the father began the cultivation and development of the place, which he 
converted into rich and productive fields. He died April 26, 1872, and his wife 
passed away on the 26th of March, 1874. Both held membership in the Lutheran 
church and they were people of the highest respectability, whose genuine worth 
was recognized by all who knew them. They had a family of eight children : 
Mary, of Wisconsin ; James, who is living in the state of Washington ; John C, 
upon the old home place which he and his brother, P. A. Klinkenberg, the fourth 
in order of birth, own and operate together; Maggie, of Independence; Helen, 
who died at the age of three years; Jane, a resident of Chicago; and Hattie, the 
wife of Joe Josephson, of Wisconsin. 

P. A. Klinkenberg, like the other members of the family, was reared upon 
the old home farm, and he and his brother John have always resided here and 
since the father's death have carried on the work of the place. They now have two 
hundred and forty acres of rich prairie land, which includes the father's original 
farm of one hundred and twenty acres. Their place is situated on sections 9 
and 10 and they carry on general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising, culti- 
vating their fields in the production of the crops best adapted to soil and climate. 
Their methods are practical and resultant and they are both recognized as men 
of energy, determination and strong purpose. 

On the 1 6th of December, 1893, P. A. Klinkenberg was united in marriage 
to Miss Minnie Sandbank, of Union Prairie township, Allamakee county, Iowa, 
where she was born in October, 1865, her parents being Hans and Mary Sand- 
bank, natives of Norway, whence they came to the new world. Settling in Winne- 
shiek county, their remaining days were here passed. Mr. and Mrs. Klinken- 
berg have a family of three children, Mary Candace, William and Carlton. 

The parents are members of the United Lutheran church, in which Mr. 
Klinkenberg is serving as one of the trustees. He is also president of the town- 
ship school board, and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. The 
family home occupies an elevation commanding a fine view of the surrounding 
country and there Mr. and Mrs. Klinkenberg keep open house, their hospitality 
being unsurpassed- They are people of social disposition, always genial and 
courteous, and their many friends greatly enjoy the good cheer of the Klinken- 
berg home. Moreover, the brothers are recognized as most enterprising busi- 
ness men and valued citizens of the community. 



FELIX A. HENNESSY, M. D. 

The career of Dr. Felix A. Hennessy is another proof of a young man's 
success. Although he is barely thirty-one years of age, he has already made his 
name known in medical circles in Winneshiek county and has built up a practice 
in Calmar, where he has been located since June, 1908, which is of gratifying 
proportions, extending beyond the limits of the city far into the surrounding 
country districts. Born in Putnam township, Fayette county, this state, July 
22, 1882, he is a son of John and Anna (Cullen) Hennessy, natives of the 
Emerald isle. Both were brought to this country when children by their respec- 
tive parents, locating in Connecticut. John Hennessy, the father, subsequently 



80 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

came to Delaware county, Iowa, in about 1865, purchasing an improved farm, 
which he operated for about live years, when he made removal to Fayette county, 
where he bought land which he cultivated for a like period, selling out in order to 
remove to Clayton county, where he again possessed himself of agricultural prop- 
erty, which he successfully cultivated until 1903, when he retired from the active 
work of the farm, although he is still making his home thereon. The place is 
located near Strawberry Point and comprises four hundred acres of the most 
valuable land in Fayette county. The father has attained the advanced age of 
eighty years and the mother is also living, both enjoying good health and being 
mentally active, still showing deep interest in the affairs of the world. Both are 
highly honored and respected in their district, where their high qualities of mind 
and character have won them many friends. 

Felix A. Hennessy was reared under the parental roof and early grounded 
in the old-fashioned virtues of honesty and industry by his parents, receiving, 
his education in Clayton county, where he attended the district school, and grad- 
uating from the Strawberry Point high school with the class of 1900. He then 
imparted the knowledge which he had received to others by teaching in the local 
district schools for two years and for one year at Masonville, this state. Dr. 
Hennessy then entered the State University of Iowa City, taking up a course in 
medicine and graduating with the class of 1907, receiving the degree of M. D. 
He then entered the service of Conn Brothers, who conducted a hospital at Ida 
Grove, Iowa, remaining until June, i>|o8, when he came to Calmar. establishing 
himself in the practice of medicine. Ever since he has made his home here he 
has built up a practice which assures him gratifying financial returns. Capable, 
energetic and conscientious, he is careful in diagnosis, but after having reached 
a decision quick to act upon his judgment, and there are many in his locality 
who are indebted to him for restoration to health and the alleviation of those 
human afflictions which can be relieved through medical skill. More than that, 
Dr. Hennessy is not only physician but friend of his patients, and it is the 
humane side in his character which has won him that confidence which is so 
necessary for a physician to have in order to successfully combat- disease. He 
maintains modernly equipped offices in the Winneshiek County Bank building, 
which are well equipped to handle ordinary and emergency cases. The position 
of Dr. Hennessy is now quite assured and the beginning of his career so con- 
spicuously successful that the most prosperous future may be predicted for him. 
Dr. Hennessy has always kept in touch with the latest methods and dis- 
coveries in the world of medical science in this country and the old world, keep- 
ing well informed on all new processes of procedure brought out by the eminent 
savants of the profession, and on that account can be trusted .to handle the most 
intricate and involved case according to the latest methods. He meets the mem- 
bers of the profession through the mediums of the American Medical Association 
and the Northeastern Iowa, the Iowa State and the Winneshiek County Medical 
Societies, exchanging with his colleagues views and data in order to mutually 
improve themselves and gain a greater outlook and experience. A progressive 
young man of modern ideas, he has chosen that standard for his political faith, 
believing in the ideals embodied in the platform of the new party and that their 
realization will bring about generally improved conditions for the nation at 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 81 

large. As his fathers did before him, he gives his allegiance to the Catholic 
church. Anything that brings nearer to man the key of that complex mystery 
which we call life is interesting to him, and as his reading is broad and compre- 
hensive his knowledge and efficiency are continually advancing 



FRANK JOSEPH SCHISSEL. 

Frank Joseph Schissel, a native son of Winneshiek county, devotes his time 
and energies to -tilling the soil, to raising stock and to dairying. His life is a 
busy and useful one, his energies being well directed along carefully defined 
lines of labor and his work in the development of his fine farm of two hundred 
and forty-two acres on sections 9, 10 and 3, Washington township, has been 
important as a factor in community development. He was born on the 3d of 
February, 1868, in Washington township, and is a son of John and Philomena 
(Huberj Schissel, the former a native of Bavaria, Germany, and the latter of 
Indiana. The father was born in 1839 and in the year 1844 crossed the Atlantic 
to America, locating in Elk county, Pennsylvania, where he remained for about 
twelve years, coming at the end of that time to Winneshiek county and settling 
near Festina. He was a farmer by occupation during the later years of his life 
and followed this line of work until his death, which occurred on the 14th of 
March, 1901. The mother, who was born in October, 1844, still makes her 
home in Washington township. To their union were born seventeen children : 
Julia, deceased ; Clara, who married George Broghammer, of Dell Rapids, South 
Dakota ; Frank Joseph, of this review ; Philip, who has passed away ; John P., 
of Adams, Minnesota; Eugenia, the wife of John Lassance, of Dubuque, Iowa; 
Louisa, who married Charles Stortz, of Decorah, Iowa; Rosa, the wife of Fred 
Einwalter, of Fort Atkinson, Iowa; Wilhelmina, the wife of L. Meyer, of Fort 
Atkinson ; William H., twin to Wilhelmina, who makes his home in the province 
of Alberta, Canada; Charles, of Gilmore City, Iowa; Matilda, at home; George 
L., of Vincent, Iowa ; Felicita, the wife of William Donald, of Prosper, Minne- 
sota ; Alphonse A. and Raymond, both of whom reside in Fort Atkinson ; and 
Bertram, who is operating the home farm in Washington township. 

Frank J. Schissel was reared upon his father's farm and acquired his edu- 
cation in the district schools of Washington township, from his early childhood 
assisting with the work of the homestead. At twenty-one years of age he rented 
land in Winneshiek county and after one year went to Storm Lake, where he spent 
a year and a half in the lumber business. Eventually he returned to his native 
section and bought one hundred acres in Washington township, to which he 
later added fifty acres, developing and improving this farm from 1892 until, in 
1907, he sold the property and bought two hundred and forty-two acres on sec- 
tions 9, 10 and 3, upon which he now lives. There is a neat and attractive 
residence upon the farm and the other buildings are all substantial and modern, 
the property being well equipped in every particular. Mr. Schissel engages in 
general farming and stock-raising and is particularly interested in the conduct 
of his dairy, its products commanding a ready sale and a high price upon the 
market. 



82 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

On the 13th of November, 1894, Mr. Schissel was united in marriage to Miss 
Mary Stepan and they have become the parents of six children : Leona P., born 
April 10, 1896; Gertrude, whose birth occurred on the 23d of August, 1898; 
Leonard G., born January 20, 1900; Alma F., born March 27, 1904; Paul A., 
whose natal day was November 12. [905; and Beatrice W., born September 13, 
1912. 

Mr. Schissel is a member of the Roman Catholic church, and politically gives 
his allegiance to the democratic party, having served for one term as township 
assessor. He is well known in his native community as a man of tried integrity 
and worth, reliable in business and loyal in citizenship, and he and his family 
stand high in the estimation of the community. 



ABRAHAM JACOBSON. 

On the list of Winneshiek county's honored dead appears the name of 
Abraham Jacobson, who had passed the Psalmist's allotted span of three score 
years and ten ere death called him. His was a long and active life in which 
he did valuable service to his fellowmen, and his memory remains enshrined 
in the hearts of all who knew him as one whose ideals were lofty and whose 
purposes were high. He was one of Norway's contributions to the citizen- 
ship of Iowa, his birth occurring in Telemarken, January 3, 1836. He was 
a son of Jacob Abrahamson, who came to America in 1848, the family home 
being established near Muskego, in Racine county. Wisconsin. The parents 
later removed to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and here their remaining days 
were spent, the father passing away in 1879 and the mother in 1884. 

Abraham jacobson was a lad of twelve years when the family came to the 
new world, and at that early age he began working for the proprietor of a 
hotel, store and postoffice at Little Muskego Lake, Wisconsin, his wages being 
but twenty-five cents per week. He was thus engaged for two years, or until 
his parents removed to Iowa in 1850, locating in Winneshiek county near 
Decorah. Here the lad worked for two years but, ambitious for an education 
and desiring to enter the ministry, he in 1852, entered what was then known 
as the University of Illinois, at Springfield, an institution built and supported 
by the Lutherans. In order to bear his own expenses and pay his way through 
school Mr. Jacobson accepted the position of janitor and later served as cus- 
todian in the courthouse, in which Abraham Lincoln delivered many addresses 
before meetings while Mr. Jacobson was engaged in the latter capacity. After 
completing his course at college he was appointed pastor of the First Lutheran 
church at Chicago, Illinois, where he remained for one year, when he returned 
to Iowa but was soon called to the newly organized territory of Dakota, making 
the trip overland by ox team. His "mission fields were at Yankton, Elk Point 
and Vermilion, where many Norwegian emigrants had formed settlements, 
and after assisting his countrymen at those points for a time he went to the 
quarantine station at Quebec, Canada, to give his aid to the Norwegian emi- 
grants who were landing in that city in large numbers. In the fall of 1864 he 
went to St. Louis, Missouri, where, desirous of extending his knowledge, he 




MR. AND MRS. ABRAHAM JACOBSON 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 85 

took a post-graduate course at the German Lutheran Theological Seminary, 
completing his studies there in 1866. In the winter of 1868 he was again sent 
into the missionary field, his work taking him to Minnesota, where he was 
compelled to make many trips over the snow-covered, trackless prairies on a 
pair of skis or Norwegian snow shoes. Later in that year he was called to 
Dane county, Wisconsin, as the permanent pastor of a church there, and he 
labored efficiently in that field until in 1878 he was forced to retire from the 
ministry, his previous strenuous and incessant work in behalf of his fellow- 
men causing the failure of his health. He returned to his parents' home in 
Winneshiek county, Iowa, where he bought the old homestead and cared for 
his father and mother until they departed this life. He at once began its 
further improvement and development, bringing it to a high state of cultiva- 
tion, and continued in its operation throughout his remaining days. He had 
other interests as well, and for more than fifteen years served as president of 
the Norwegian Mutual Life Insurance Company of Winneshiek county. 

It was on the 3d of January, 1863, that Mr. Jacobson was united in marriage 
to Miss Nicoline Hegg, a daughter of Ole and Carrie Hegg, both natives of 
Norway, more extended mention of whom is made on another page of this 
volume under the caption of John Hegg. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Jacobson were 
born eleven children, Clara, Mary, Jacob. Signe, Isaac, David, Helga, Otto, 
Carl, Christiane and Ragnvald. Mrs. Jacobson continues to make her home 
on the old farm of one hundred and seventy acres, located on section 2, Spring- 
field township, and with her reside her daughter Clara and her son Carl, the 
latter taking charge of the operation of the property, which is known as the 
Cloverdale Farm. Mr. Jacobson was stanch in his support of the republican 
party and ever took a deep interest in the material and political as well as the 
moral welfare of the community. His public-spirited citizenship was acknowl- 
edged by his fellowmen, who chose him to represent his district in the thirtieth 
and thirty-first general assemblies. Mr. Jacobson passed away on the 15th of 
May, 1910, and his death was a matter of deep regret to all who knew him. 
At all times actuated by honorable purpose, he followed the dictates of a high 
ideal and great was the service he rendered his fellow citizens and especially 
his countrymen. If it is true that "Not the good that comes to us but the 
good that comes to others through us is the measure of our success," then, 
indeed, was success his in large measure. 



HORACE S. SMITH. 



Horace S. Smith is numbered among the native sons of Winneshiek county, 
for his birth occurred in Bluffton township on the 4th of January, 1865. His 
parents were George and Harriet M. (Shear) Smith. The father, who was born 
in England, August n, 1823, was the first of his family to come to the United 
States, but later sent for his widowed mother, his five sisters and his one brother, 
who is William H. Smith, now a resident of Decorah. It was in 1855 that George 
Smith crossed the Atlantic to the United States, and making his way into the 
interior of the country became a pioneer settler of Winneshiek county. He was 



86 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

a mason by trade and followed that pursuit before coming to the middle west 
and to some extent after his arrival here. However, in this county he became 
the owner of a good tract of land, which he converted into a valuable and pro- 
ductive farm. It was in this county that he met and married Harriet M. Shear, 
a native of New York, who in early girlhood came with her parents to Iowa. 
They began their domestic life on a farm in Bluffton township, which continued 
to be their home until they were called to their final rest. In their family were 
five children: Alva, living in Washington; Josephine, who died in childhood; 
Horace S. ; Elmer A., living in Canoe township; and Eugene L., who occupies 
the old home place in Bluftton township. 

Horace S. Smith was reared on the old homestead in Bluffton township and 
there resided until he purchased his present place in 1896. The public schools 
afforded him his educational privileges and he received thorough training in 
farm work under the direction of his father. He is now the owner of one 
hundred and twenty-one acres of good land on sections 32 and $$, Canoe town- 
ship, and he has made some improvements here. His farm presents a neat and 
attractive appearance and the fields annually respond with golden harvests to his 
care and labor. 

In 1890 Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Hattie M. Brickner, who 
was born on what is now her husband's farm, February 1, 1868, a daughter of 
Henry and Julia (Shank) Brickner. Her father is deceased and her mother 
resides in Canoe township. Mr. Smith was called upon to mourn the loss of his 
wife on the 20th of May, 1910. He has an adopted son, Louie B. Smith. Always 
a farmer, his life has been quietly passed, yet his record is one of activity and 
usefulness, and he is numbered among the leading agriculturists of his part of 
the county. His place is known as the Wayside Stock Farm, which name in- 
dicates one of the features of his business, for he is extensively and successfully 
engaged in stock-raising and is an excellent judge of stock. 



JAMES F. CONOVER, D. D. S. 

James F. Conover, who since 1903 has been located in Calmar, follows the 
dental profession and has built up a profitable practice along this line, becoming 
known as one of the substantial citizens of his city. 

Born in New York in August, 1869, Dr. Conover is a son of Firman and 
Mary (Bigelow) Conover, the father a native of New York and the mother of 
Connecticut. Firman Conover was a pioneer of Allamakee county, Iowa, com- 
ing here in 1856, renting a farm and teaching school. He finally gave up school 
teaching and purchased land in Winneshiek county, Iowa, which he transformed 
into a valuable farm, operating the same for a few years, when he sold out in 
order to remove to New York, engaging there in the butcher business at Daynes- 
ville, Lewis county. After remaining there for some time he returned to Win- 
neshiek county, where he farmed for some years and then again returned to New 
York, remaining there until 1871, when he again made Winneshiek county his 
home, operating a farm until 1906, in which year he removed to Decorah, where 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 87 

he resided until his death, being laid to rest on his eighty-third birthday. The 
mother, who is living, has attained an age of seventy-two years. 

James F. Conover was but a year and a half old when his parents brought 
him to Winneshiek county, where he received his early schooling. When he was 
ten years of age the parents removed to Frankville, where he continued his at- 
tendance in the public schools until the age of sixteen. He then engaged for 
six years in school teaching, being connected with the country schools and those 
of Decorah at intervals. During that time he also conducted a general store in 
Frankville for two years, at the end of which period he entered the dental college 
of Northwestern University at Chicago, attending from 1897 to 1899, and then 
went to Elburn, Illinois, where he commenced to practice dentistry. He re- 
mained in that town for six years. He returned to Northwestern in 1903, how- 
ever, finishing his course and graduating with that class. In 1905 he came to 
Calmar and opened an office, having since been engaged in practice there. He 
enjoys a gratifying patronage which extends beyond the city into the country 
and which has brought him gratifying financial results. 

A man who deeply interests himself in the public welfare, Dr. Conover has 
closely associated himself with the public life of Calmar, of which city he has 
served as mayor for two terms, giving the community an excellent administration 
productive of many valuable and beneficial measures. He is still connected with 
the city government, being a member of the town council and continuing his 
valuable work in that capacity. Politically he is a democrat and fraternally a 
Modern Woodman of America. His offices, which are well and modernly equipped 
with all appliances of the latest type, are located in the Winneshiek County 
Bank building. His arrival in the city added a valuable citizen to the community 
life whose service has been of distinct benefit in the cause of advancement and 
development. 



ALOYS HOLTHAUS. 



Aloys Holthaus, one of the public-spirited and progressive citizens of Wash- 
ington township, whose labors have been of material and substantial value to 
the community in the line of agricultural progress, makes his home on a fine farm 
of one hundred and twenty-six acres, upon which he has resided continuously 
since 1885. Winneshiek county numbers him among her most progressive and 
successful native sons, his birth having occurred in the township where he now 
lives, June 20, 1862. His parents were Theodore and Elizabeth (Fershaus) 
Holthaus, natives of Germany, the former of whom came to America in 1848 
and after spending two years in Wisconsin came as a pioneer to Winneshiek 
county, Iowa. Here he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land on 
section 13, Washington township, and after developing it for a short time returned 
to Germany and married, bringing his wife immediately to his new home in 
Iowa. Upon his farm he continued to carry on general agricultural pursuits 
for many years, dying upon his holdings May 29, 1880. His wife survived him 
only a few years, dying October 27, 1885. To their union were born nine chil- 
dren : Theodore, deceased ; August, who lives in Washington township ; Agatha, 



88 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

who is married and resides at Parkston, South Dakota; Dorothea, who married 
Emil Unbreiner, of the same city; Aloys, of this review; Laura, deceased; Julius, 
who has also passed away ; Clemence, of Carroll. Iowa ; and Christina, a Sister 
in a convent at La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

Aloys Holthaus was reared upon his father's farm in Washington township 
and in his childhood divided his time between his studies at the district school 
and work in the cultivation of the homestead. In 1885, when the estate was 
divided, he received his share, which was one hundred and twenty-six acres. 
and with characteristic energy he turned his attention to its improvement and 
cultivation. Persistently and energetically he has continued the work year after 
year until he has now a well improved property, classed with the model farms 
of this vicinity. Upon it he has erected a fine home, barns and outbuildings and 
has installed modern machinery to facilitate the work of the fields. In addition 
to general farming he raises stock, keeping a fine herd of thoroughbred short- 
horn cattle. His interests are carefully managed and capably conducted and he 
is justly accounted one of the most active farmers and progressive business men 
of this section of Iowa. 

On the 13th of October, 1891, Mr. Holthaus was united in marriage to Miss 
Josephine Funke, a daughter of Clemens and Gertrude Funke, of whom further 
mention is made elsewhere in this work. Mr. and .Mrs. Holthaus have become 
the parents of nine children, Rosie, Julius, Florian, Regina. Hildegarde. Bertie, 
Aloys, Elenora and Victor. 

Mr. Holthaus is a member of the Roman Catholic church, and gives his 
political allegiance to the democratic party. He has rendered his township excel- 
lent service as trustee, an office which he filled with credit and distinction for 
two terms. In an analyzation of his life it will be seen that persistent and earn- 
est work has constituted the foundation upon which he has built his prosperity 
and his record is a credit to the community where his entire life has been passed. 



EDMUND E. BERG. 



Edmund E. Berg is one of the prominent bankers of Decorah and has done 
much by his quick rise and rapid success to justify the prestige in which he is 
held. Connected with the Decorah State Bank since 1907. he was soon after- 
ward elected assistant cashier of the institution and since IQ12 has held the office 
of cashier, discharging his duties with ability, and his judgment upon matters 
pertaining to his business is seldom at fault. Born in Freeborn county, Minne- 
sota, April 26, 1880, he is a son of Elmer J. and Gunhild (Alvig) Berg, natives 
of Norway. The father was trained along mercantile and agricultural lines and 
for years was employed in the big stores of Christiania, Norway's beautiful cap- 
ital. Coming to the United States he located in Freeborn county. Minnesota, 
where for a time he engaged in the mercantile business but later took up farm- 
ing. He still lives on the farm but his wife died there in 1882. 

Edmund E. Berg attended the public schools in the neighborhood of his 
father's farm and subsequently entered Luther Academy at Albert Lea. Minne- 
sota, from which he was graduated in 1902. He then taught for three vears in 




EKUUXD E. BERG 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 91 

schools of Freeborn county, Minnesota, and subsequently followed his profes- 
sion in western North Dakota. Being attracted by a commercial career he then 
entered the Bank of Elbow Lake, Minnesota, and after a short time went from 
that place to Roseau, Minnesota, as bookkeeper and teller in the bank there, 
remaining for one year. Becoming familiar with the work at hand and showing 
ability his promotion was rapid and in the next year he became cashier of the 
Citizens Bank of Barrett, Minnesota, remaining there for one year or until the 
spring of 1907, when he came to Decorah to become connected with the Decorah 
State Bank as bookkeeper. At the next meeting of the board he was elected 
assistant cashier, ably serving in that capacity until 1912, when he was made 
cashier and was reelected in 1913. The years of his connection with the Decorah 
State Bank have been years of profitable expansion for the institution and the 
work of Mr. Berg has been an important contributory factor in extending the 
bank's interests. The Decorah State Bank is one of the substantial organizations 
of the city and county and was organized in the fall of 1906 with a capital stock 
of fifty thousand dollars. Today it shows a surplus of seventy-five hundred 
dollars, giving an indication of the sound business policy pursued. The present 
officers of the bank are : R. A. Engbertson, president ; G. E. Soland, vice pres- 
ident ; E. E. Berg, cashier ; A. R. Johnson, assistant cashier, and Ruby R. Engbert- 
son, bookkeeper and teller. In addition to the president, vice president and cashier, 
the board of directors consist of E. J. Hook. T. Stabo, L. S. Reque and Borger 
Hanson. 

On April 10, 1907, Mr. Berg married Miss Edith Brauer, a daughter of Fer- 
dinand Brauer, who is a retired farmer of Mabel, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. 
Berg are devoted members of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church of 
Decorah, the latter being also affiliated with the Ladies Aid Society, while Mr. 
Berg is serving as church treasurer. In politics he gives his allegiance to the 
republican party but does not actively participate in public affairs although he 
keeps well informed upon the issues of the day as they affect the nation, state 
and his locality. Socially both he and his wife are highly esteemed and they are 
popular in the younger social set. 



CLEMENS SCHOLBROCK. 

Clemens Scholbrock, engaged in general farming and stock-raising on sec- 
tion 13, Washington township, is one of Winneshiek county's native sons, his 
birth having occurred in the section where he now resides on the 28th of October, 
1857. He is a son of Henry and Louisa (Richter) Scholbrock. natives of Ger- 
many, who came to America in early life and after spending eight years in Wis- 
consin came to Winneshiek county, where the father engaged in farming until 
his death, which occurred in 1889, having survived his wife for some time. To 
this union were born three children : Henry and Theodore, of Minnesota ; and 
Clemens, of this review. 

The last named was reared upon his father's farm and from his childhood 
has been familiar with the details of farm operation, dividing his time between 
his studies in the district school and his duties as assistant in the work of the 



92 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

homestead. At twenty-one he began his independent career, renting land, which 
lie developed and improved until he was thirty-eight years of age, at which time 
he bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 13. Washington township, 
upon which he has since resided. This property he has substantially improved, 
erecting the necessary buildings and installing modern machinery, and here he 
carries on general farming and stock-raising, his interests being well managed 
and, therefore, profitable and important. 

On the 1 8th of May, 1892, Mr. Scholbrock was united in marriage to Miss 
Annie Lechtenberg, and they became the parents of ten children: Mary, in a 
convent at La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Herman, William, Matilda, Joseph, Re- 
lindis, Clemens, Louisa. Albert and Annie. 

Mr. Scholbrock gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and is 
a member of the Roman Catholic church. In the community where he was born 
and where his entire life has been spent he is well known and favorably regarded, 
his integrity, ability and enterprise having gained him the esteem and respect of 
all who come in contact with him. 



THOMAS H. GOHEEN. 

Although the firm of Goheen & Conley was established in Calmar, Iowa, 
only in July, 1912, they are enjoying already a large practice and are connected 
with much important litigation coming before the courts of this locality. Both 
partners are well versed in the law and enjoy a high standing in the community, 
being respected by all who know them. 

Thomas H. Goheen, the senior member of the firm, was born in Chickasaw 
county, Iowa, on July 22, 1879, and is a son of Thomas H. and Mary (Mc- 
Carthy) Goheen. natives of Wisconsin. The father came to Chickasaw county 
in an early day of the history of that section, it being about the sane year in 
which the Milwaukee railroad built their line through Lawler, Iowa. There he 
purchased land, clearing and improving the property and operating the farm 
until [898 with gratifying success, when he retired and moved to Lawler, which 
he made his home until he passed away on December 19, 1907, the mother hav- 
ing preceded him in death on July 3, 1898. 

Thomas H. Goheen was educated in Chickasaw county, attending the district 
schools near his father's farm and also the public schools of Lawler. Upon 
the completion of his education he accepted a position as clerk with McCarthy 
& Company, general merchants, being made after three years manager of the 
concern, which position he held for two more years. Showing preference for a 
professional career, he decided to study law and for that purpose entered the 
Illinois College of Law at Chicago, from which he graduated with the class of 
1906, receiving the degree of LL. B. Taking honors, he was given a half year's 
scholarship and in 1907 received from the same institution the degree of LL. M. 
He then went to Armour, South Dakota, and commenced there the practice of 
law in June, 1908, remaining for one year, when he removed to his old home in 
Lawler, where he practiced for a similar period. In June, 1910, he came to 
Calmar and has practiced here ever since, admitting in Tuly, 1912, F. J. Conley 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 93 

to a partnership. The firm name is now Goheen & Conley, the partnership being 
productive of many excellent results. Mrs. Goheen is also an attorney, being 
admitted to the bar in South Dakota, and practiced for some time with her hus- 
band under the name of Goheen & Goheen. 

On July 28, 1902, Mr. Goheen married Nora E. Parson, a daughter of Pewis 
and Bridget (O'Malley) Parson, the father a native of Norway and the mother 
of Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Goheen had two children : Edna Marie, aged six ; 
and one who died in infancy. Politically Mr. Goheen is a democrat, keeping 
well informed upon all questions of the day affecting public affairs. His ability 
as a lawyer found recognition in his election to the important position of city 
solicitor of Calmar, in which he now serves, and he is also a member of the 
board of education. His faith is that of the Catholic church. Mr. Goheen is 
well known in fraternal circles, being a member of the Knights of Columbus 
lodge of Mitchell, South Dakota, and also of the Modern Woodmen of America. 
Although he is yet a young man, he has built up a reputation which gains for 
him a profitable business. He is a fluent speaker, has keen perceptive power 
and an analytical and logical mind, which qualities enable him to always accurately 
apply the principles of the law to points in litigation. His record as an official 
has been faultless and he receives high commendation from his constituents for 
the way in which he represents the interests of his city. 



F. J. CONPEY. 



F. J. Conley, the junior partner of the firm of Goheen & Conley, was also 
born in Chickasaw county, this state, and is a son of Michael and Margaret (Mc- 
Gettigan) Conley, the father a native of Vermont and the mother of Iowa. Our 
subject was born on January 17, 1879, on the home farm. His father came to 
Chickasaw county with his parents when he was a mere child and, early becom- 
ing acquainted with agricultural methods, took up that vocation as his life work, 
buying and improving a farm which he has ever since successfully operated. The 
mother is also living. In their family were six children, of whom three are 
deceased. 

F. J. Conley was reared and educated in his native county, where he attended 
district school and the high school at Ionia. He then entered the Iowa State 
Teachers College at Cedar Falls, Iowa, graduating in 1903. Removing to Paw- 
ler, he there accepted the position of superintendent of schools, holding that office 
for five years, and then returned to Chickasaw county, as he was elected to the 
position of county superintendent of schools. For five years he was so engaged, 
doing acceptable service in the promotion of the cause of education and improve- 
ing the personnel of the teaching force in the county. In 1909 he entered St. 
Paul College of Paw, being graduated with the class of 1912, and then came to 
Calmar, Winneshiek county, Iowa, forming a partnership with T. H. Goheen, 
and has ever since practiced law in that connection. He is a man not only of 
book learning but one who has closely studied human nature, and his insight into 
the motives of man helps him greatly in his professional career. Although he 



94 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

has engaged in the practice of law for barely a year, he is already recognized as 
one of the coming men in the profession. 

In October, 1905, Mr. Conley was united in marriage to Miss Jensena R. 
Larson, a daughter of Lewis and Bridget (O'Malley) Larson, the father of Nor- 
way and the mother of Ireland. Mr. Larson has long resided in this country 
and is now engaged in the mercantile business in Lawler, Iowa, where the mother 
is also living. Mr. and Mrs. Conley had four children, namely: Francis L., 
deceased; Marjory Marie, who died February 21, 1909; Eileen Agnes, aged four; 
and Mary Gertrude, aged one year. Politically Mr. Conley is a democrat and his 
religious faith is that of the Catholic church. He is a member of the Knights 
of Columbus lodge of Waterloo, Iowa. While advancement at the bar is pro- 
verbially slow, no dreary novitiate awaited him, for he soon demonstrated his 
ability to capably handle intricate problems and his practice is already of such 
proportions that he receives gratifying financial returns. Both Mr. Goheen and 
Mr. Conley are men of sterling traits of character who receive the high regard 
and confidence of their fellowmen and take as much interest in movements for 
the general advancement and development as in the promotion of their own suc- 
cess. 



OLE J. NESS. 



Ole J. Ness, one of the leading grocers of Decorah, occupies an important 
position in the business life of his community, having attained success by his 
industry, perseverance and innate integrity. He was born in Norway, Novem- 
ber 23, 1865, a son of John O. and Jorend ( Halverson ) Ness, natives of the 
Norseland. The father followed agricultural pursuits in his native country 
and in 1870 came to the United States, locating at Highlandsville, Winneshiek 
county, where he purchased land and engaged in farming. Success attended his 
labors, his means enabling him to retire in December, 1912, when he came to 
Decorah, where he and his wife now enjoy a well earned rest. 

Ole J. Ness attended the district schools in the acquirement of his education, 
and in his leisure hours and during vacations assisted in the minor duties on the 
farm, early becoming acquainted with thorough methods of agriculture. After 
leaving school he continued at home until twenty years of age, when he accepted 
a position as clerk in the general store of Mr. Schelldorf, of Highlandsville. He 
remained in that connection for eight years and then came to Decorah, estab- 
lishing a grocery store on West Water street, which is now occupied by the Selz- 
Schwab Shoe Company. Later Mr. Ness removed to the store which is now 
the home of the Public Opinion and in 1909 purchased his present property at 
No. 400 West Water street, where he has since been located. His store is modern 
and up-to-date in its appointments and the management leaves nothing to be 
desired. He carries an extensive line of staples and fancy groceries, meats, shoes 
and notions, and giving his attention to the smallest detail of the work has by 
the gracious manner in which he treats his customers and by his fairness and 
integrity built up an extensive and profitable business. 

On June 8, 1893, Mr. Ness married Miss Martha C. Anderson, a daughter 
of T. G. and Maria Anderson, both natives of Norway, and the former a farmer 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 95 

by occupation. Upon their arrival in the United States the parents located in 
Highland township, where Mr. Anderson successfully engaged in agricultural 
pursuits. He brought his land to a high state of productivity, made high-class 
improvements and installed such equipment as is considered indispensable to 
modern agriculture. In 1897 Mr. and Mrs. Anderson came to Decorah, where 
they both still make their home. Mrs. Ness was born on February 28, 1872, 
on her parents' farm in Highland township, her marriage to our subject taking 
place in the Big Canoe church. She passed away unexpectedly, April 14, 1910, 
deeply mourned by her immediate family and her many friends. She was a 
woman of many fine qualities of mind and character and rare accomplishments. 
Mr. Ness is now devoting his life to his children, who are: Melvina, aged seven- 
teen, a student in the Lutheran Ladies Seminary at Red Wing, Minnesota; 
Janette, born in 1900, attending the Decorah Lutheran parochial school ; Thelma, 
born in 1903, who attends the same school ; Mildred, born in 1905, also attend- 
ing there; and Louise, born January 24, 1907. Two sons of the family have 
passed away : James Harris, aged five months ; and an infant, who died at the 
time of the mother's demise. 

Mr. Ness gives his allegiance to the republican party and holds membership 
in the Norwegian Lutheran church, of which his wife also was a member, and to 
which all the children belong. He still owns a half interest in the old homestead 
in Highland township. He keeps alive the spirit of his native land by holding 
membership in the Norske Selskab society of Decorah, in which he is popular. 
Progressive and a successful business man, Mr. Ness is an important factor in 
the social life of Decorah, receiving the good-will and confidence of all with 
whom he comes in contact in a business or social way. 



RUDOLPH J. BECKER. 

The attention of Rudolph J. Becker is largely taken up by his extensive real- 
estate business, in which he has been engaged in Calmar since 1905. He is not 
only laying the foundation of individual prosperity but his activities largely affect 
the progress and upbuilding of his city, and as the years go by he becomes more 
and more important as a factor in the general advancement. He was born in 
Ossian, this county, on February 12, 1884, a son of Joseph and Elizabeth 
(Dessel) Becker, natives of Germany. The father, upon coming to America, 
located in Ossian at an early day in the history of this section and after having 
settled here two years engaged in the hardware business, in which line he still 
continues. The mother is also surviving. 

Rudolph J. Becker was reared at home and in the acquirement of his educa- 
tion attended the public schools of Ossian and Calmar. He then accepted a 
position as clerk in a dry-goods store in Ossian, so continuing for one year, 
when he went to Chicago, becoming connected with the firm of Marshall Field 
& Company for four years, in which relation he worked up to an important posi- 
tion in that large establishment. He then removed to New York city, continuing 
along the same line, but only remained for eight months before he returned to 
Iowa, locating in Manilla and becoming manager of a general store there, holding 



96 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

the position for one year. At the end of that time he engaged in the real-estate 
business in Sioux City, Iowa, remaining until 1905, which year marks his arrival 
in Calmar, where he has since successfully followed his business. He is well 
informed upon local real-estate values and his judgment upon matters pertaining 
to his business is sound. His advice is often sought by local and foreign investors 
and as the years have passed he has built up a business which is extensive and 
assures him of a gratifying income. He has a handsome, well furnished office, 
from which he directs his affairs. 

In May, 191 2, Mr. Becker was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Meyer, 
a daughter of Peter and Julia Meyer, residents of Calmar. Mr. and Mrs. Becker 
are the parents of one son, Laurence P., who is now one month old. 

Progressive and public-spirited, Mr. Becker upholds all movements under- 
taken to promote public progress, although he has never cared to accept office. 
Politically he is independent, following his judgment in supporting candidates 
irrespective of party lines. His religious faith is that of the Catholic church 
and fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. As his means have 
increased he has made judicious investments and besides extensive property in 
Calmar owns other valuable farm land in Winneshiek county. A young man 
of aggressive tendencies, he has become a serviceable factor in the upbuilding 
of his city and enjoys, the high regard and confidence of all who know him. 
His career is proof of the fact that energy and industry will carry the day and 
that success is but ambition's answer. 



XF.STE BROTHERS. 



Madison township finds worthy and progressive representatives of its agri- 
cultural interests in Theodore and Otto Neste, who own and operate one hundred 
and sixty acres of fine land on section 26 and are numbered among the most 
successful of the younger farmers of this vicinity. The brothers are twins and 
were born upon the property they now occupy on the 16th of January. 1886, sons 
of Knute K. and Gro Neste, natives of Norway. When the father came to 
America he located at McGregor, Iowa, where for some time he worked in 
the timber. Eventually he came to Winneshiek county, purchasing land in Madi- 
son township. This he cleared, improved and developed, operating it along 
modern and progressive lines until his death, which occurred on the 4th. of 
January, 191 1. His wife passed away in September, 1903. 

Theodore and Otto Neste were reared at home and acquired their educa- 
tion in the district schools of Madison township, later entering Breckenridge 
Institute at Decorah, Iowa. They have never left the homestead and after the 
death of their father, in 1910, bought the property, which comprises one hundred 
and sixty acres on section 26, Madison township. They have improved and 
operated this since that time and success has steadily attended their well directed 
efforts and practical methods, the farm being today one of the finest and best 
managed in this vicinity. 

On the 5th of April, 1911, Otto Neste was united in marriage to Miss 
Sophia Flasherud, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric O. Flasherud, natives of 



K 
H 



> 

O 




PAST AND PRESENT JNTNESHIEK COUNTY 99 

Iowa, the former of whom engages in farming in Madison township. The Neste 
brothers are stockholders in the Farmers Creamery Company of Decorah and 
their ability is widely recognized in business circles. They give their political 
allegiance to the republican party and they are devout members of the Lutheran 
church. Although still very young they have already made their influence felt 
in agricultural circles of their township, are reliable business men and public- 
spirited citizens, and Winneshiek county is proud to number them among her 
native sons. 



REGINALD F. B. PORTMAN. 

For many years Reginald F. B. Porttnan has been importantly connected 
with the legal business of Winneshiek county and Decorah, but now lives re- 
tired from active practice, devoting his time largely to looking after his invest- 
ments and other interests. Born in Staple, Fitzpaine, Taunton, England, Febru- 
ary 20, 1853, he is a son of Rev. F. B. and Frances Ann (Darnell) Portman, both 
natives of the mother country. The Portman family is one of great distinction 
in England, Viscount Portman, of Bryanston, being a first cousin of our subject. 
The father was the youngest son in the family and, as is often the case, embraced 
a ministerial career. He became a rector of the Episcopal church and served as 
rural dean for Taunton for twenty-five or thirty years. He was also for some 
time canon of Wells cathedral in Somersetshire, England. He died in 1893, 
his wife having died some time previously. 

Reginald F. B. Portman, of this review, early became connected with Her 
Majesty's navy, becoming a member of a training ship when twelve years of 
age. He became a midshipman but his career was cut short after four and a 
half years of service, when he was discharged on account of an injury on April 
21, 1869. He crossed the Atlantic to the United States in 1872, locating in 
Decorah, where there was a large English settlement. He engaged in farming 
and in the machine shop business as a member of the firm of Horn, Portman & 
Clive Company until 1877, when he began to read law in the office of C. T. 
Brown, in Decorah, being admitted to practice in November, 1878. Mr. Port- 
man then formed a partnership with Mr. Brown under the firm name of Brown 
& Portman, the relationship continuing for two years, since which time he prac- 
ticed alone until his retirement. A man who exemplified in his conduct the lofty 
ideals of an ancient and honorable calling, he honored his profession by paying 
it honor, and by his adherence to the solid virtues and enlightened principles 
underlying the law. He soon secured a very extensive practice, success being 
the best evidence of his capability. Of keen perceptive power, he always applied 
the principles of the law accurately to the point in litigation. Since retiring from 
the profession he gives his time largely to his investments and is also prominent 
in Masonry, in which he holds high rank. 

In 1878 Mr. Portman was married to Mrs. Caroline S. Warren, a daughter 

of John Stewart, for many years a resident of Decorah, now deceased. They 

had three children: Blanche E., the wife of James H. Duncan, of Decorah; 
vol. n— 5 

638678 



100 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Frances Catherine, who married Fred C. Reum, of that city ; and John F. B., 
who died on April 15, 1912, at the age of twenty-six years, being at the time 
assistant cashier of the Citizens Savings Bank of Decorah. Both Mr. and Mrs. 
Portman are devout members of the Episcopal church of Decorah, in the work 
of which they take a deep interest. Professionally he is a member of the Win- 
neshiek County Bar Association. He has for thirty years served as a director 
of the Citizens Savings Bank and has done efficient work in that connection, 
holding from 1S84 to 1904 the office of vice president. Among official honors 
which he has held is that of United States commissioner, in which office he served 
for several years; referee of bankruptcy; and justice of the peace, in which 
capacity he distributed justice fairly and impartially for two terms. For four- 
teen years he served as member of the Decorah school board, giving evidence of 
his interest in the cause of education. His active interest in the community is 
evident from the fact that he served as the first foreman of the Decorah hook 
and ladder company and as chief of the fire department from 1879 until 1882. 
His fraternal connections extend to the Masons, in which order he is a member 
of the blue lodge, chapter and commandery of Decorah and the Mystic Shrine 
of Cedar Rapids. He is past grand treasurer of the grand commandery of 
luwa and also past grand treasurer of the grand chapter of this state, being 
widely and prominently known on account of these high positions. 

Decorah has greatly profited by the activities of Mr. Portman, who is one of 
its most honored citizens, his life work having not only resulted in his own suc- 
cess, important as it is, but has been a serviceable factor in the growth and 
development of his community and Winneshiek countv along moral, intellectual 
and material lines. 



BENJAMIN JOHNSON GRONAAS. 

The career of Benjamin Johnson Gronaas, who came to the United States 
and Winneshiek county about 1S86, again establishes the fact that this county 
offers unlimited opportunities to the man who sets out with a will and determi- 
nation to grasp them. Mr. ( Ironaas now owns a valuable farm of eighty acres 
on section 25, Decorah township, Winneshiek county, where lie success- 
fully engages in agricultural pursuits. With the exception of two years which 
he spent in the west, he has been a resident of this section since his arrival in 
America, and has become favorably and widely known in that length of time, 
being not only an interested witness of the changes that have occurred here but 
a valuable factor in promoting growth and progress, especially along agricultural 
lines. Born in Norway on September 16, 1856, he is a son of John and Elizabeth 
(Bertelsen) Gronaas. natives of the Norseland. The father was a deep-sea pilot 
by occupation and so engaged from the age of twenty-five to that of seventy. 
He passed away in his native country in 1905 at the advanced age of ninety 
years, his wife preceding him in 1903. 

Benjamin Johnson Gronaas was reared under the parental roof and educated 
in the schools of his native land, laying aside his text-books in order to embark 
upon a career as a sailor. He entered upon this career when but fifteen years 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 101 

of age and so continued until the age of thirty, when he came to America, mak- 
ing his way inland and locating in Winneshiek county, where for three years he 
worked as a farm hand. At the end of that time he had by industry and thrift 
acquired the means to purchase forty acres of land in Decorah township and 
set about to improve the same, but later sold out and went westward, where for 
two years he also followed agricultural pursuits. He then returned to Winne- 
shiek county, acquiring title to eighty acres, and upon this farm he now resides. 
He has made valuable improvements since entering upon the ownership, has 
erected a comfortable residence and substantial outbuildings and operates his 
land according to the latest improved ideas. As the years have passed his place 
has increased in value to a considerable extent and he is today recognized as one 
of the substantial agriculturists of his section. Outside of his farming interests 
he is a stockholder in the Ice Cave Creamery Company of Decorah. 

On May 4, 1882, while still in his native land, Mr. Gronaas was united in 
marriage to Miss Anna M. Swenson, a daughter of Gesle and Anna Swenson, 
natives of Norway, where both have passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Gronaas are 
the parents of ten children, as follows: Bertha, the wife of John Olson, a farmer 
of Winneshiek county ; John, who resides in Decorah ; Ole, who also makes his 
home in this city; Anna, of Madison, Wisconsin; Adolph, who holds a position 
in Ossian, this state; Clara, of Stoughton, Wisconsin; Benjamin, at home; 
Edward, at home; and Marie and Norman. 

Mr. Gronaas gives his allegiance to the Lutheran church, of which he is a 
member, and politically adheres to the republican party. Interested in the cause 
of education, he has served as school director of his district for some time and 
always supports any worthy public enterprise. His career is proof of the fact 
that success is but ambition's answer, and the record which he has made in this 
township entitles him to the good-will and confidence of the general public. He 
has made many friends since settling here and is considered a valuable element 
in the agricultural growth of Decorah township. While his success is commend- 
able, the qualities of mind and character which have made possible his prosperity 
deserve yet higher appreciation, and it is these qualities which rank Mr. Gronaas 
as a valuable member of society and citizen of Winneshiek county. 



EUGENE P. WILLIAMS. 

Mapleside Farm is one of the attractive properties of Frankville township. 
It is situated on section 2 and comprises three hundred and twenty acres of 
arable land. It is now the property of Eugene P. Williams, who was born upon 
this place June 14, 1864, a son of C. R. and Melvina (Hubble) Williams. The 
father's birth occurred in Connecticut, March 17, 1839, while the mother was 
born in Wisconsin in 1840. She came with her parents to Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, in 1854, and in the following year C. R. Williams arrived with his parents, 
Cyrus and Mary (Stanton) Williams, the former a native of Connecticut and 
the latter of Massachusetts. Both remained residents of this county throughout 
their remaining days and Cyrus Williams followed the occupation of farming 
as a life work. Having reached adult age in this county, C. R. Williams and 



102 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Melvina Hubble were here married and began their domestic life upon a farm, 
living for a long period on section 2, Frankville township, on the place which 
is now the home of their son Eugene. Year after year the father carefully 
tilled the fields and conducted his business interests until he won a substantial 
measure of success that now enables him to live retired. For the past fourteen 
years he has resided in Decorah, spending the winter months in California. 
His prosperity which he gained by operating his farm provides him with all of 
the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. Unto him and his wife have been 
born four children: Eugene P.; Alary, the wife of Max Walker, of New Hamp- 
ton, Iowa; Florence, at home; and Edith, the wife of Thomas Webster, of 
Waukon. 

No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for 
Eugene P. Williams in his boyhood and youth. He worked in the fields when 
not occupied with his text-books and thus early became familiar with the best 
methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. As he grew in vears and 
strength he devoted more and more of his time and attention to the farm work 
and at length assumed the management of the old home place. He now has 
three hundred and twenty acres on section 2 and is carrying on general farm- 
ing and stock-raising, making a specialty of handling shorthorn cattle. The stock 
which he raises is of good grades and everything about the place indicates the 
• careful supervision of a progressive farmer. 

In 1899 M f - Williams was united in marriage to Miss Dora Shattuck. who 
was born in Waukon, Iowa, May 25, 1876, a daughter of L. and Emily Shat- 
tuck, the former deceased, while the latter resides near Waukon. Unto Mr. and 
Mrs. Williams have been born three children, Helen, Ruth and Frances. The 
parents are well known, having been life-long residents of this section of the 
state. Mr. Williams is a republican, but while he keeps well informed on the 
questions and issues of the day has never sought nor desired public office. He 
has ever concentrated his energies upon his farm work with the result that sub- 
stantial success has rewarded his labors. 



OLAUS VISTE. 



Olaus Viste, who is successfully engaged in the pursuits of farming and stock- 
raising in Decorah township, owns a tract of two hundred acres of land on 
section 34, on which he has made his home from his birth to the present 
time. He was born in September, 1870, a son of Ole and Sigrid (Oppen) Viste, 
both of whom were natives of Norway. The father emigrated to the United 
States in 1853 and located first in Wisconsin, but the following year came to 
Winneshiek county, Iowa, purchasing a farm of one hundred and twenty acres 
in Decorah township, which is now included within that of our subject. He 
turned his attention to the task of clearing and improving the place and there 
carried on general agricultural pursuits continuously and successfully until 1895, 
when he sold the farm to his son Olaus. His demise occurred on the 8th of 
March, 1905, when he had attained the venerable age of eighty-eight years, the 
community thus losing one of its most esteemed citizens and a pioneer agricul- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 103 

turist who had lived here for more than a half century. His widow, who makes 
her home with our subject, is now eighty-four years of age. Their family num- 
bered thirteen children, nine of whom are living. 

Olaus Viste was reared and educated in this county, first attending the district 
schools and subsequently continuing his studies in Decorah. After putting aside 
his text-books he assisted his father in the operation of the home farm until 
1895 and in that year purchased the property, which now embraces two hundred 
acres of valuable land. He has been successfully engaged in its cultivation to 
the present time and has enhanced its value by many substantial improvements. 
In connection with the production of cereals he has also devoted considerable 
attention to stock-raising, meeting with good results in both branches of his 
business. 

On the 22d of October, 1902, Mr. Viste was united in marriage to Miss Ella 
Soland, a daughter of Gilbert and Magdalene (Egge) Soland, both of whom 
were natives of Winneshiek county, Iowa. The mother passed away in 1885, 
but the father survives and follows farming in Springfield township. Unto Mr. 
and Mrs. Viste have been born two children, namely : Sigrid Bertha Magdalene, 
whose birth occurred on the 9th of September, 1903 ; and Olga Ragnhild Gun- 
hilde, who was born on the 4th of December, 1908, and passed away on the 18th 
of the same month. 

In his political views Mr. Viste is a republican and at present is ably serving 
as one of the trustees of Decorah township. In religious faith he is a Lutheran. 
Both he and his wife have spent their entire lives in Winneshiek county and 
have an extensive circle of warm friends here. 



JOHN N. BRAGESTAD. 

John N. Bragestad, one of the worthy native sons of Winneshiek county, 
has devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his entire 
business career and is the owner of a well improved and productive farm of 
one hundred and twenty acres on section 35, Decorah township. He was bom 
on that place on the 6th of December, 1863, and it has always remained 
his home. His parents, Nels and Gunvor (Naglestad) Bragestad. were both 
natives of Norway. The father, who emigrated to the United States in the '50s, 
located first in Wisconsin but subsequently came to Iowa and purchased land 
in Decorah township, this county. In the cultivation and improvement of that 
property he was busily engaged throughout the remainder of his life, passing 
away in 1885. The mother was called to her final rest in 1894. They enjoyed 
an extensive acquaintance throughout the community and well merited the 
respect and esteem which were uniformly accorded them. 

John N. Bragestad was here reared and educated, attending the district 
schools and also pursuing a course of study in Breckenridge Institute of Decorah. 
He had early become acquainted with the best methods of tilling the soil and 
caring for crops under the able direction of his father, whom he assisted in the 
work of the home farm until the latter's death, when the property came into 
his possession. It comprises one hundred and twenty acres of rich and pro- 



104 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

ductive land, and the many improvements which may now be found thereon are 
largely due to the enterprise and thrift of its present owner. Bounteous harvests 
annually reward his labors and bring him a gratifying financial return. He is 
the secretary and a stockholder of the Nordness Creamery Company and well 
deserves recognition among the substantial and representative citizens of his 
native county. 

Mr. Bragestad gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has 
served as trustee of Decorah township, making a creditable record in that con- 
nection. In religious faith he is a Lutheran. He holds the office of treasurer 
of the Norwegian Mutual Insurance Company of Winneshiek county and is 
widely recognized as an able business man. Mr. Bragestad is unmarried and 
lives with his sister Anna. He has witnessed the growth and transformation 
of this county for the past half century and his own labors have been a factor 
in the work of general development and upbuilding. 



WILLIAM B. IXCYOLDSTAD. 

A man who largely through his own efforts has attained one of the foremost 
positions in the commercial life of Decorah is William B. Ingvoldstad, owner of 
one of the largest lumberyards in the city, the business being conducted under 
the firm name of Ingvoldstad & Company. In a comparatively short time he has 
built up a large and prosperous enterprise which returns to him gratifying finan- 
cial results, and in 1910 was enabled to buy out the business of his first employer, 
thereby enlarging the capacity of his yard to a considerable extent. Born in 
Decorah, Iowa. June 21, 1875, William B. Ingvoldstad is a son of Peter O. and 
Josephine ( Engbertson ) Ingvoldstad, natives of Norway. In their family were 
twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, and inclusive of the parents they 
celebrated a family birthday every month in the year. All of the children are 
now living and are a credit to the family name. After the father came to this 
country he located in Decorah at an early date in the history of the city, and being 
a carpenter by trade engaged in that business until his demise, which occurred 
in April, K)02. He was known as a contractor and builder and erected a large 
portion of the residences and business houses in Decorah. The mother yet sur- 
vives him. 

William 1'.. Ingvoldstad was reared under the parental roof and was early 
grounded in the old-fashioned virtues of industry and honesty, attending in the 
acquirement of his education the public schools of his native city. Deciding upon 
a commercial career, he then entered the employ of the Wilbur Lumber Company, 
remaining with that firm for about six years. Having become well acquainted 
with the details of the business and possessing no mean business ability, he en- 
gaged on March 1. 1898, in partnership with E. K. Hovden, in the lumber busi- 
ness at the corner of Washington street and Broadway, the partnership continu- 
ing until October, 1905, when our subject acquired Mr. Hovden's interest and has 
since continued the business under the firm name of Ingvoldstad & Company. 
In February. 1910, Mr. Ingvoldstad bought out the Wilbur Lumber Company, 
whose yard adjoined his property, and his firm is now one of the largest in this 




WILLIAM B. INGVOLDSTAD 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 107 

part of the state, occupying a block of ground. Success has attended his efforts 
and his attainments must be largely ascribed to the ready utilization he has made 
of every opportunity that has presented itself. 

On August 20, 1903, Mr. Ingvoldstad married Miss Sophia Larson, a daugh- 
ter of C. L. and Josephine (Pederson) Larson, natives of Norway. The father 
is a bookbinder by trade and at an early date came to Decorah, where he has 
since resided. He is foreman of the bookbinding department of the Lutheran 
Publishing Company, with which concern he has been connected for about four 
decades. The mother passed away in 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Ingvoldstad have 
three children : Carsten W., aged eight ; Lester R., six ; and R. Kenneth, three. 
The family home, which is one of the handsome residences of Decorah, is located 
at No. 816 River street, and Mr. Ingvoldstad owns besides valuable residence prop- 
erty. The religious faith of the family is that of the Lutheran church. A man 
of discriminating judgment and no mean ability, Mr. Ingvoldstad has come 
to be recognized as one of the forceful elements in the business life of the city, 
and by his sterling traits of character has won the high regard and confidence 
of all those with whom he has come in contact in a business or social way. 



HENRY A. HOVER. 



Henry A. Hover needs no introduction to the readers of a history of Winne- 
shiek county, for his name has been known and honored in this part of 
Iowa since pioneer times and his worthy record has added greatly to the credit 
in which it has so long been held. Lie is one of the most progressive and able 
farmers in Pleasant township, his attractive homestead lying on section 8, being 
visible evidence of his thrift, energy and practical methods in its development. 
He is a native son of this township, born on a farm about one mile from his 
present property, on the 4th of April, 1868, his parents being Hover Evenson 
and Bertha (Larson) Hoyme, natives of Norway, the former born June 15, 
1818, and the latter March 14, 1822. Their marriage occurred in that country 
about 1843 and five years later they crossed the Atlantic to America, settling 
first in Dane county, Wisconsin, where the father worked at the blacksmith's 
trade, which he had learned in the city of Bergen, Norway. In 1851, in com- 
pany with about thirty families, the parents of the subject of this review jour- 
neyed overland with ox teams, locating in Pleasant township. Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, in the same year. Pioneer conditions prevailed everywhere, the land 
being covered with timber and unbroken and the prairies being sparsely settled. 
From that time until his death the father remained an honored and respected 
citizen of this vicinity, leading in all measures and movements for its progress 
and advancement and taking an active part in the foundation and upbuilding of 
some of its most notable institutions. He settled on a farm on section 5, 
Pleasant township, and upon his property built a blacksmith shop, which was 
the first of its kind in the northern half of Winneshiek county. In early times 
he operated this during the nights, the days being spent at hard labor, grubbing 
up the stumps upon his new farm and carrying forward the work of its improve- 
ment and cultivation. For a long period he made all the shoes and clothing 



108 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

worn by his family in addition to running the first threshing machine in the 
county and his indefatigable energy and untiring industry were at length 
rewarded by a gratifying degree of success. He accumulated large holdings in 
land, owning at one time three hundred, seventy-eight and a half acres, and he 
became known as one of the substantial and representative residents of the 
community which lie aided so greatly in upbuilding. Always an active religious 
worker, he was one of the organizers of the Methodist Episcopal church in 
Pleasant township and he contributed generously of his time and means to the 
erection of a church building. He and his wife were regular attendants for many 
years and in that faith the father died April 17, 1882, his passing taking from 
Winneshiek county one of its most valued pioneer settlers. His wife survived 
him for a number of years, dying October 11, 1892. In their family were four- 
teen children, five of whom are now living: Edwin, who resides in Pleasant 
township; Sarah, the wife of J. J. Kessey, of Forest City, Iowa; Isabel, who 
married J. J. Shervin, of Pleasant township; Lewis H.. of Wadena, Minnesota; 
and Henry A., of this review. 

Henry A. Hover was born upon his father's homestead in Pleasant town- 
ship and his childhood was spent amid pioneer conditions then prevailing. At 
an early age he aided in clearing, breaking and developing the farm and before 
he had attained his majority was a practical and able agriculturist, possessing 
a thorough knowledge of the best methods of farm operation. After reaching 
manhood he went to North Dakota, where he spent a few months, eventually 
returning to Winneshiek county and settling in Highlandville, where he became 
interested in the creamery business. With these exceptions, however, he has 
been farming in Pleasant township during all of his active life and he is today 
one of the substantial and progressive agriculturists of his native township. He 
purchased from his father's estate one hundred and sixty acres lying on section 
8, Pleasant township, land upon which he had previously assisted in making 
all the improvements, and here he has since resided, his practical and systematic 
labors through the years having brought him a gratifying measure of success. 
For twelve years he operated one of the first steam threshing outfits in this sec- 
tion of the state, but he now gives practically all of his time to the development 
of his farm. He is treasurer of the Central Telephone Company and his ener- 
getic spirit and discriminating business ability have been important factors in 
the growth of that concern. 

Mr. Hover has been twice married. He wedded first, July 6, 1892, Miss 
Maria Thompson, who was born in Chickasaw county, Iowa, on the 4th of April, 
1874, a daughter of Ole and Soneva Thompson, natives of Norway, both of 
whom have passed away, the mother dying in 1882 and the father July 10, 1894. 
Mrs. Hover passed away November 8, 1893, leaving one daughter, Maria. On 
the 1st of January, 1895, Mr. Hover was again married, his second wife being 
Miss Anna Thompson, who was born December 24, 1869. To this union were 
born nine children: Beulah Sylvia; Herbert Oliver; Alma Agnetta ; Charlotte 
Amelia ; Henry Sylvan ; Charles Raymond, who died at the age of three and a 
half ; Anna Olena ; Cyrus Reginald ; and Everett Le Roy. 

Mr. Hover is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He gives 
his political allegiance to the republican party and has been honored by his fellow 
citizens by election to practically all the township offices, including township 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 109 

assessor and justice of the peace. He has been road superintendent and is at 
present school treasurer and he takes a great interest in the growth and progress 
of this section of the state, the development of which he has witnessed since the 
early days. He is well known and highly respected throughout his township, 
being reliable in business, loyal in citizenship and at all times public-spirited and 
progressive — a native son whose life record is a credit to a name held in high 
honor here since pioneer times. 



MARTIN C. BERGAN. 

Martin C. Bergan, who has spent his entire life on the farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres which he now operates on section 2, Springfield township, is 
well known and highly esteemed throughout the community as a representative 
agriculturist and progressive citizen. His birth occurred on the 9th of May, 
1868, his parents being Ole and Carrie (Wegan) Bergan, both natives of Nor- 
way. In 1850 the father emigrated to the United States and located in Wiscon- 
sin but a short time later came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, purchasing land in 
Springfield township which he began to clear and improve. The operation of 
that place claimed his time and attention throughout the remainder of his life 
and his efforts as an agriculturist were attended with a gratifying measure of 
success. The farm is now in possession of our subject. Ole Bergan passed 
away in October, 1906, while his wife had been called to her final rest in Decem- 
ber, 1904, the community thus losing two of its most esteemed and honored 
pioneer settlers. 

Martin C. Bergan was here reared and educated, pursuing his studies in the 
district schools. After putting aside his text-books he was associated with his 
father in the operation of the home farm and in 1896 purchased the property, 
comprising one hundred and sixty acres. He has since been active in its further 
cultivation and has improved the place to such an extent that it is now lacking 
in none of the accessories and conveniences of a model farm of the twentieth 
century. His farming interests have returned to him a gratifying annual income 
and he has long been numbered among the prosperous and respected citizens of 
his native county. He is a stockholder in the Nordness Creamery Company, the 
Nordness Telephone Company and the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah. 

In June, 1896, Mr. Bergan was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Barlow, a 
daughter of Swen and Anna (Nelson) Barlow, both of whom were natives of 
Norway. They emigrated to the new world in an early day, locating first in 
Wisconsin and subsequently coming to Winneshiek county. The father pur- 
chased and improved a farm in Calmar township, operating the same success- 
fully and continuously until the time of his death, which occurred on the 10th 
of October, 1892. His widow still resides on the old home place and is now 
seventy-six years of age. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bergan have been born ten chil- 
dren, as follows: twins who died in infancy; Agnes C, who is fifteen years of 
age; Myrtle E., who passed away in 1900; Eleanor M., eleven years old; Orville 
S., Mervin Lester and Beatrice M., who are eight, five and three years of age 



110 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

respectively; Mabel Violet, who is one year old; and Mildred Viola, twin sister 
of Mabel, who died on the 29th of June, 1912. 

Mr. Bergan gives his political allegiance to the republican party, casting his 
ballot in support of its men and measures. In religious faith he is a Lutheran. 
His entire life has been spent within the borders of Winneshiek county and he 
enjoys the respect and confidence of all with whom business or social relations 
have brought him in contact. 



CHARLES F. YARWOOD. 

Charles F. Yarwood, owning and operating two hundred and forty acres 
of land on sections 18 and 19, Madison township, and numbered among the pro- 
gressive and substantial agriculturists of this locality, is a native of Winneshiek 
county, born in Calmar township, October 17, 1865. He is a son of George W. 
and Maria (Lee) Yarwood, the former a native of England and the latter of 
Wisconsin. When the father came to America he settled first in New York 
and in 1855 moved to Winneshiek county where he purchased and improved a 
farm in Calmar township, operating this until his death in the fall of 1901. His 
wife survived him, dying November 28, 1908. 

Charles F. Yarwood was reared upon his father's farm and acquired his 
education in the district schools of Calmar township. When he was twenty- 
three years of age he came to Madison township and bought one hundred and 
sixty acres of land on section 19, setting himself with characteristic energy to 
the task of improving and developing this property. He later added to it the 
eighty adjoining acres lying on section 18 and now owns two hundred and forty 
acres of well cultivated and productive land. Upon it he has made substantial 
improvements from time to time, erecting a comfortable residence, good barns 
and outbuildings and neglecting nothing which would add to the attractive appear- 
ance or value of the place. The work of improvement has been carried forward 
steadily along practical lines and Mr. Yarwood stands today among the repre- 
sentative and progressive farmers of this vicinity. 

Mr. Yarwood has been twice married. On November 2$, 181,13, he wedded 
Miss Olive Smith, a daughter of John and Susan (Lee) Smith, the former a 
native of New York and the latter of Wisconsin. The father came to Winne- 
shiek county at an early date and went from here to Allamakee county where 
he engaged in farming until his death. His wife survives him. Bv his first 
union Mr. Yarwood had five children: Harold; Lloyd; Grace; Bessie, who was 
born in 1894, and died September 21, of the same year; and one, who died 
in infancy. Mr. Yarwood's first wife passed away August 17, 1899, and on 
the 9th of March, 1904, he was again married, his second union being with 
Miss Man- P. Schrubbe. She was born in Decorah, September 14, 1876, and 
is a daughter of August and Caroline (Hilliman) Schrubbe. the former a native 
of Germany and the latter of Canada. The father came to America with his 
parents when he was fourteen years of age and located in Wisconsin. In 1865 
he came to Decorah, Iowa, and for a time worked as a farm laborer. He after- 
wards operated a soap factory for a number of years but eventually resumed 




MR. AND MRS. CHARLES F. YARWOOD 



PAST AND PRESENT OE WINNESHIEK COUNTY 113 

agricultural pursuits, renting and cultivating a fine farm. He died in October, 
1902, at the age of sixty-three years, and is survived by his wife who makes her 
home in Decorah. Mr. and Mrs. Yarwood became the parents of four children : 
Leonard ; Herbert ; Edward, who died in 1905 ; and one child, who died in infancy. 
Mr. Yarwood is a member of the Methodist church. His fraternal rela- 
tions are with the Yeomen and his political allegiance is given to the republican 
party. He is at present director of his school district and the cause of educa- 
tion finds in him a stanch and intelligent supporter. He has lived in Madison 
township and upon his present farm for a quarter of a century and the years 
have brought him well deserved and substantial success. 



HENRY LOMEN. 



Almost half a century of continuous residence in one district is the record 
of Henry Lomen, for he was born in Decorah township, Winneshiek county, 
on the 15th of September, 1867, and the farm upon which his birth occurred 
continues to be his home. His parents, Erick E. and Olena (Erickson) Lomen, 
were both born in Norway but came to America at an early day, locating in Wis- 
consin, where the father was employed in the pine woods for about two years. 
Later he came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, locating in Decorah township where 
he purchased eighty acres of land — a tract which formed the nucleus of the fine 
farm upon which his son Henry now resides. With characteristic energy he at 
once set about improving and developing the place and as the years passed and 
he prospered in his agricultural undertaking he purchased more land until even- 
tually he owned two hundred acres of fine farming property, eighty acres of 
which lie in Springfield township and the balance in Decorah township. He 
made farming his life work and was still actively engaged at that occupation at 
the time of his death, which occurred in 1906. His widow survives and, with 
her daughter, makes her home with her son Henry. 

On the old homestead Henry Lomen was reared and at the usual age he 
became a pupil in the district schools. Later he supplemented the knowledge 
there gained by a course of study in the Decorah Institute, while his practical 
training was received on the home farm under the direction of his father. After 
the close of his school days he gave his attention entirely to the work of the 
fields and upon attaining his majority continued to remain at home, giving his 
father the benefit of his assistance until the latter's death, when he took complete 
charge of the home farm which he has since continued to operate. He has 
placed considerable improvements upon the property and its high state of devel- 
opment is in large measure due to his untiring efforts, his keen business sagacity 
and his progressive methods. 

Mr. Lomen is a member of the Lutheran church while politically he votes 
with the republican party. He has never had time nor inclination for participa- 
tion in public affairs, although he is greatly interested in the welfare of the com- 
munity and supports any measures which have for their object the general 
improvement and progress. He is a stockholder in the Nordness Creamery 
Company and the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah, and has a reputation for 



114 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

unquestioned integrity in the business circles of Decorah township. A lifelong 
resident of this district, he is widely known throughout this section and the circle 
of his friends is almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintances. 



JOHN HARTER. 



Since 1882 John Harter has devoted practically all of his time to the devel- 
opment of the Pleasant Ridge Fruit Farm on section 5, Pleasant township, 
whereon he is specializing in the raising of fine grades of native fruits, his 
scientific methods, unremitting industry and his thorough knowledge of the busi- 
ness combining to gain for him a success which places him among the most able 
fruit growers. He was born in Schwindratzheim, Alsace, Germany, March 28, 
185Q, and is a son of George and Mary (Gross) Harter, also natives of that 
country, where the father engaged in farming and shoemaking for a number of 
years. He gave most of his time to the development of the old homestead, 
which has been in possession of members of his family for over three hundred 
years. Mr. and Mrs. George Harter became the parents of three children : 
George, who owns the old homestead in Germany ; Mary, who also resides in the 
fatherland ; and John, of this review. 

The last named acquired his education in the public schools of Germany and 
remained upon the farm in his native province until 1882, assisting with its ope- 
ration and completing his term of service in the German army. In the latter 
year he crossed the Atlantic to America and settled immediately in Pleasant 
township, Winneshiek county, Iowa, buying one hundred and sixty acres of land 
on section 5, whereon he has since resided. This he has developed along pro- 
gressive and modern lines, erecting substantial buildings and installing the neces- 
sary machinery until today Pleasant Ridge Fruit Farm is one of the finest prop- 
erties in this part of Iowa. For the past fifteen years Mr. Harter has given a 
great deal of his attention to making experiments in fruit growing and has 
developed a number of new and rare varieties, his efforts marking a distinct 
advance in methods of scientific fruit cultivation. He has perfected and recorded 
a number of varieties of hardy apples suited to this country and climate and 
besides this has the only nursery in Winneshiek county and one-sixth of an acre 
planted in grapes, this being the largest and best developed vineyard in this 
section of Iowa, The Harter's Red and Improved Briar Sweet are among the 
best known of his own varieties of apples and are so excellent in quality and 
taste that the Iowa State Horticultural Society in its report of 1912 speaks of 
them in terms of high praise, as it did in the report of 1910 of his other excellent 
apples. Mr. Harter has made a thorough and exhaustive study of the work to 
which he has devoted his life and is considered an expert in his special line, his 
work having received the commendation and approval of the state and United 
States pomologists who have examined his fruits. His attention is given over 
entirely to the development of his different varieties of fruits, to a study of con- 
ditions which improve or perfect them and to research on questions of grafting 
and transplanting. The general farming operations were in charge of his son 
George W., until the sudden death of the same on account of an accident which 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 115 

he met on the farm during his parents absence in Europe. He was a promising 
young man, devoting his entire time to his father's business, and much credit is 
due him for the excellent condition of the property. His death was a great blow 
to his parents and sisters and deep regret and sympathy were expressed on all 
sides, for he was popular and had many loyal friends. 

In Pleasant township, in 1884, Mr. Harter was united in marriage to Miss 
Elizabeth Hilleman, who was born here January 7, 1857, a daughter of William 
and Wilhelmina (Knoke) Hilleman, natives of Hanover, Germany, the former 
born October 24, 1831, and the latter January 9, 1829. Both went to Canada 
with their parents in their childhood and in the Dominion married in 1852. They 
afterward came to Pleasant township, Winneshiek county, Iowa, and here the 
father engaged in farming until his retirement, when he moved to Decorah, 
where his death occurred in March, 1904. His wife survived him only a few 
years, dying in April, 1909. The father was one of the first settlers in Pleasant 
township and hauled grain to Lansing at a time when the journey of thirty miles 
consumed two or three days. He and his wife had eight children : Caroline, the 
widow of August Schrubbe, of Decorah; Henry, who died at the age of twenty- 
one; Elizabeth, the wife of the subject of this review; William, a farmer in 
Winneshiek county; Mary, who resides in Decorah; Minnie, who married Albert 
Schippel, of Mankato, Minnesota; Julia, the widow of John Barth, of Decorah; 
and August, who has passed away. 

Mr. and Mrs. Harter have four children : Wilhelmina Maria, the wife of 
Alvin Kratz, of Grand Rapids, North Dakota ; George W., a graduate of the 
Valder Business College and until his death on July 29, 1913, associated with his 
father in the operation of the fruit farm ; Louise ; and Julia. Mr. and Mrs. 
Harter have made two extended tours of Europe. He is a regular attendant of 
the Methodist Episcopal church and is a progressive democrat in his political 
beliefs. He supports his convictions by intelligent and unaggressive argument 
and has written a number of articles on political subjects which have attracted 
widespread attention and approval. He has made distinct and substantial con- 
tributions to the development of a great industry in this section of Iowa, where 
he has resided for more than thirty years, and his upright and honorable life, 
which has been filled with definite and important accomplishments, has gained 
him widespread honor and esteem wherever he is known. 



ANDREW T. BRANHAGEN. 

Not only is Andrew T. Branhagen one of the most substantial agriculturists 
of Springfield township, Winneshiek county, but he has the distinction of being 
the only old soldier of his locality, having rendered valuable service in the Civil 
war, and in times of peace has demonstrated his public spirit by efficiently filling 
important positions. Born in Norway, October 28, 1844, his parents were 
Tosten and Annie (Sevelrud) Branhagen, natives of that country. They came 
to America in 1861 and making their way inland located in Winneshiek county, 
where the father purchased one hundred acres of land on section 11, Spring- 
field township. He gave his whole attention to clearing and improving this 



116 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

property, and as his crops brought him financial returns increased his holdings 
until he owned one hundred and sixty acres, to the cultivation of which he de- 
voted himself for the remainder of his life, his demise occurring in 1883. His 
wife survived about three years, passing away' in 1886. 

Andrew T. Branhagen was about sixteen years of age when he came with 
his parents to this country. He received his education largely in his native land, 
but also attended district school in Springfield township and Breckenridge Insti- 
tute at Decorah, in order to perfect his English learning. In January, 1864, 
Mr. Branhagen enlisted in Company E, Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry, and faith- 
fully served until August, 1865, when he was mustered out with honorable dis- 
charge. He then returned to the home farm and subsequently learned the stone- 
mason's trade, at which he worked for six years with such gratifying success 
that he was enabled to acquire the home farm by purchase. He has since 
improved the place remarkably, has erected substantial buildings and has placed 
his acres under high cultivation. His harvests are large and of good quality and 
his farm products bring him a handsome annual income. Air. Branhagen has 
the distinction of being the only participant of the Civil war now residing in 
Springfield township, and the present generation is honoring him for taking up 
the cause of the flag at a time when the union of our nation was in its greatest 
danger. 

On Independence day. in 1S84, Air. Branhagen was united in marriage to 
Miss Oleanna Ronglien, a daughter of Hans and Bertha (Grassten) Ronglien, 
both natives of the Norseland. Mr. and Mrs. Branhagen have three children, 
William A., Annie and Idella. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Branhagen has always taken a deep 
interest in the community's welfare and efficiently served as township clerk of 
Springfield township, while he also rendered valuable service as school treasurer, 
giving evidence of his interest in the cause of education. He is politically 
affiliated with the republican party and upholds its candidates at the polls. As 
prosperity has come to him he has made judicious investments and is a stock- 
holder in the Nordness Creamery Company, the Nordness Telephone Company 
and the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah. His religious faith is that of the 
Eutheran church. Mr. Branhagen is highly respected and esteemed for what 
he has accomplished and has become a valued and useful citizen of his locality. 
He has not only attained individual success but has been a valuable factor in 
promoting agricultural growth and contributing toward the upbuilding of his 
community. 



T. O. STORLA. 



Among men who did much for the growth and improvement of Winneshiek 
county, and particularly Decorah township, was T. O. Storla, whose death on 
February 1, 191 2, was an occasion of deep and widespread regret, for it took 
from an active and useful life one who had made many friends and who had 
proven his value by the high qualities of his mind and character. For twenty 
vears he was actively engaged in the operation of his fine farm on section 36, 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 117 

Decorah- township, and he did much toward improving agricultural standards in 
this section. A native of Allamakee county, Iowa, he was born in Paint Creek 
township on January 25, i860, a son of Ole and Thora (Lee) Storla, both of 
whom were born at Hallingdal, Norway- The parents at an early date came 
from their native country to America and located at Rock Prairie. Wisconsin, 
in 1850, for a short time before going to Allamakee county, where they purchased 
land in Paint Creek township. This the father operated with ever increasing 
success during the remainder of his life, passing away in August, 1886, standing 
high in the estimation of the general public. His wife died about five years later, 
her demise occurring in March, 1891. 

T. O. Storla was reared under the parental roof and educated in the 
district schools of Allamakee county and later at Luther College of Decorah. 
He was confirmed by the Rev. O. J. Hjort, at Paint Creek. He later attended 
Breckenridge Institute at Decorah and then returned home, well prepared for 
life's work. He assisted his father and remained with his parents until his mar- 
riage, when he rented the home place, in the cultivation of which he continued 
for two years. His father-in-law then purchased for him a farm of two hundred 
and forty acres on section 36, Decorah township, to the improvement and 
cultivation of which Mr. Storla devoted his attention. He brought his land to a 
high state of productivity, erected modern and substantial buildings and in every 
way improved the value of his property, being so occupied for the remainder of 
his life. 

On October 17, 1883, Mr. Storla was united in marriage to Miss Carolina 
Bakke, a daughter of Erick and Gunhilda (Ramsey) Bakke, natives of Norway. 
Her father was one of the first settlers of Winneshiek county, having come to 
America in 1851, first locating in Koshkonong, Dane county, Wisconsin, whence 
after a short time he came to Frankville township, Winneshiek county, where 
he operated a farm until the death of his wife, which took place March 10, 
1903, when he retired from active labors and made his home with his youngest 
daughter, Mrs. T. O. Storla. He was born April 1, 1824, and passed away 
January 29, 1908, having reached the age of eighty-three years, nine months 
and twenty-nine days. The mother was eighty-five years of age at the time of 
her death. Mr. and Mrs. Storla became the parents of seven children: Isabella 
Olivia, Erick Olaf, Theodore Clarence, Norman Alexander, Sevat Alfred, 
Theresa Gunhilda, and one child, who died in infancy. It was on the 1st of Feb- 
ruary, 1912, that the family circle was broken by death, when the demise of 
Mr. Storla occurred after two weeks of severe illness. Not only was his going 
a deep loss to his immediate family, but caused widespread regret among all who 
knew him and esteemed him as a worthy man of high principles. Mr. Storla, 
who was politically a republican, was active along that line in the interests of his 
closer locality, serving as a trustee of Decorah township. His religion was that 
of the Lutheran church and he ever gave his faithful adherence to that organiza- 
tion. He kept alive in him the spirit of his ancestors as a member of the Norske 
Selskab Club, in which he had many friends and was popular. As prosperity 
had come to him Mr. Storla had made judicious investments and was a stock- 
holder and a director of the Decorah State Bank, of which he was one of the 
organizers. His life record is an example of what may be attained when indus- 
try and energy lead the way, and the high esteem and confidence that was con- 



118 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

ceded him on every hand was but justly bestowed upon him. He was as con- 
siderate of the community's welfare as of his own interests, and there was never 
undertaken any worthy enterprise along public lines of which he was not an 
ardent supporter. 



ANTHONY BERNATZ. 

Anthony Bernatz. who has lived in honorable retirement at Decorah during 
the past decade, was for a number of years prominently identified with milling 
interests here but has turned over his business to his sons, who operate two 
flour mills under the firm style of A. Bernatz & Sons. His birth occurred in 
Bavaria, Germany, in August, 1843, his parents being Michael and Martha 
Bernatz, the former born in the kingdom of Bavaria, on the river Rhine, on 
the 4th of October, 1815. Michael Bernatz learned the baker's trade in that 
country and in 1846 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, locating in 
Rochester, New York, where he worked at his trade until 1849. In tnat vear 
he went to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and there conducted a bakery until 
1854, when his wife died. He then moved across the Mississippi river to 
McGregor, Iowa, where he built the fifth house in the town and opened a 
bakery which he conducted until 1857. In that year he erected the White 
Springs brewery but did not find the business congenial and disposed of his 
interests in 1859. He then started for Texas but, being threatened by yellow 
fever, then raging in Galveston, turned back after journeying as far as New 
Orleans. In i860 he purchased the Smithfield flouring mills at Smithfield, Iowa, 
and in 1865 bought the Eagle flouring mills in Winneshiek county, east of 
Decorah, operating them for three years. On the expiration of that period 
they sold out and purchased the Riceford flour mill at Riceford, Houston county, 
Minnesota, which Michael Bernatz operated in association with his two sons, 
' .orge and Anthony. In 1868 Michael Bernatz also built a mill at Newburg, 
Minnesota, and two years later went to Chaska, that state, erecting a water 
power mill near Minneapolis. He operated his three mills until 1874 and in 
that year returned to Iowa because of impaired health, purchasing the Ever- 
green flour mill at Fort Atkinson, Winneshiek county, in partnership with his 
two sons. At the end of about fifteen years he retired and sold out to his sons, 
who continued the operation of the mill fur about four years longer or until it 
was destroyed by fire. His demise occurred at Fort Atkinson, in 1886, and 
thus the community lost one of its most substantial and respected citizens. 

Anthony Bernatz was three years of age when brought by his parents to the 
United States and a little lad of six when the family home was established in 
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where he acquired his education. After leaving 
school he began working for his father, with whom he remained in partnership 
until the latter sold out to him and his brother George. When their mill at 
Fort Atkinson had burned the two brothers purchased the Ames flour mill at 
that place and operated the same for two years. At the end of that time they 
sold out and came to Decorah, Iowa, here purchasing the Ice Cave and Hivly 
flour and feed mills, which they operated together for about two years or until 




MRS. ANTHONY BERSTATZ 




AXTHONY BERNATZ 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 123 

George Bernatz disposed of his interest to his brother Anthony, who continued 
operating the mills until 1903. In that year the latter retired and turned over 
the business to his sons, who have since operated the two flour mills under the 
same name — A. Bernatz & Sons. The Ice Cave mill has a capacity of two 
hundred barrels, while the other mill is largely utilized in the handling of feed 
of all kinds and rye flour. Their output includes the White Lily and Oneota 
brands of flour. The three sons engaged in the conduct of the business are 
Charles, who has charge of the Ice Cave mill ; William, who has charge of the 
Stone mill ; and John, who has general supervision and also goes on the road 
to dispose of their products. They are men of enterprise and good business 
ability who are following in the footsteps of their father and grandfather and 
are meeting with similar success. 

On the 5th of August, 1866, Mr. Bernatz was united in marriage to Miss 
Cassie A. Minert, her parents being John and Amy (Dennis) Minert, the former 
a native of Holland and the latter of Ohio. John Minert, an agriculturist by 
occupation, emigrated to the United States, locating on the Wabash river in 
Indiana in an early day, and there he carried on farming for some time. Remov- 
ing to Wisconsin, he purchased a tract of land which he cultivated for several 
years and then took up his abode in Postville, Allamakee county, Iowa, helping 
to organize the county. He entered and improved a tract of land and culti- 
vated the same until 1867, when he met a tragic end, being killed with an ax 
by a drunken neighbor. His wife passed away in 1851. Unto Mr. and Mrs. 
Bernatz were born nine children, as follows : Charles, William and John, who 
are engaged in the milling business at Decorah; Emily, the wife of Lewis Marsh. 
of Decorah, Iowa; Hallie M., whose demise occurred on the 26th of Tune, 
1898; and Bertha, Archie Dennis, Blanche and Hazel, all at home. 

Mr. Bernatz owns a handsome, modern residence at No. 300 East Decorah 
avenue, which stands in the center of ten city lots or one block. In political 
circles he is known as a Bryan democrat and for one term served as a member 
of the city council. He is now seventy years of age and by reason of a well 
spent life is enabled to spend his declining years in ease and comfort. The circle 
of his friends is a wide one, for he has won the warm regard and esteem of all 
with whom he has been associated in business or social relations. 



EDWARD L CURTIN. 



One of the foremost business men of Decorah and since January, 1904, presi- 
dent of the Citizens Savings Bank, Edward J. Curtin has for nearly thirty years 
been connected with that institution, in which he began his career as bookkeeper, 
advancing step by step to the position of chief executive officer of the bank, having 
done during that time probably more than any other man to make it one of the 
strongest and foremost banking houses of this part of the state. Moreover, Mr. 
Curtin has extensive banking interests in North Dakota, in which state he is presi- 
dent of a number of banks which he has been instrumental in founding. 

A son of John and Mary P. (Powers) Curtin, he was born in Decorah, Iowa, 
June 2, 1865, his parents being natives of Ireland, coming with their respective 



vol n— 6 



124 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

parents to this country when children. It was in May. 1857, that the father came 
to Winneshiek county and engaged in the livery business, conducting an estab- 
lishment of that kind until 1886. when he disposed of his interests and retired, still 
making his home here at the age of seventy-six years, his wife being sixty-nine 
years of age and both enjoying the esteem and respect of many friends. 

Edward J. Curtin was reared under the parental roof and acquired his edu- 
cation in the public schools and Bayless Business College of Dubuque, from which 
he graduated in 1883. Previous to this time, in 1881, he had received a certificate 
of graduation from the Decorah high school. Deciding upon a commercial career 
as the most congenial. Mr. Curtin. in [884, entered the employ of the Citizens 
Savings Bank upon its organization and with this institution he has ever since con- 
tinued, holding every position in the bank from bookkeeper to president, in the 
latter of which he has served since January 1, 11)04, 0!1 which date he acquired the 
interests of C. W. Burdick. The present prosperous condition of the bank must 
be largely ascribed to the incessant efforts and thorough business ability of Mr. 
Curtin, who in the course of a long career has become acquainted with every 
phase of the banking business and has never considered the smallest detail too 
unimportant to give it his closest attention. The bank today is one of the fore- 
most in this part of the state and its business is extensive and profitable. He has 
done everything to make it worthy of patronage and its deposits are safeguarded 
in such a way as to merit the confidence of its patrons. As his means have in- 
creased from year to year Mr. Curtin has extended his efforts to other fields 
and for the past six years has served as president of the Sentinel Butte State Bank 
of Butte, North Dakota, president of the First National Bank of Beach, that 
state, and president of the Sterling State Bank of Sterling, also of North Dakota, 
in all of which institutions he is a heavy stockholder. He also is a director of the 
Calmar Savings Bank of Calmar, Winneshiek county, and owns bank stock in 
financial institutions of the state of Oregon. Another enterprise which has bene- 
fited by his labors is the Winneshiek Hotel Company, of which he is the efficient 
secretary. 

In November, 1897, Mr. Curtin was united in marriage to Miss Mellie Marsh, 
a daughter of N. S. and Gertrude Marsh, natives of Massachusetts. The father 
was one of the pioneers in Winneshiek county, where he was engaged in the black- 
smithing business, conducting a shop until the time of his demise, while the 
mother is still living. .Mr. and Mrs. Curtin have one daughter, Louise, who at 
the age of fourteen is attending school. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Curtin has always taken a deep interest 
in the advancement of his native city, which he has served efficiently as city 
treasurer. His political convictions are progressive republican and, while he is 
not a politician in the sense commonly ascribed to that word, he is well informed 
upon all issues of the day as they affect the state and nation, and every move- 
ment undertaken for the improvement of conditions finds in him a ready sup- 
porter. In 191 1 and 1012 he served in the important position of president of the 
Iowa Bankers Association, this being evidence of the important position he holds 
in financial circles of the state and in recognition of his ability along banking 
lines. He is also a member of the state board of agriculture and has done valuable 
work in this connection in promoting the farming interests of the state. The 
familv home is at No. 614 West Water street and there Mr. and Mrs. Curtin 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 125 

often entertain their many friends, who delight to gather at their hospitable fire- 
side. A man of unflagging industry, undoubted ability and unshakable honesty, 
Mr. Curtin has risen to one of the foremost positions in the life of Decorah, where 
he has become a forceful element in commercial and financial circles and is highly 
honored and respected for what he has achieved and for those qualities of his 
character which have made possible his success. 



EDWIN NORDHEIM. 



Among the most active and successful farmers of Pleasant township and 
among the most deservedly esteemed and respected of Winneshiek county's 
native sons is numbered Edwin Nordheim, who owns and operates a fine tract 
of two hundred acres on section 15. This property is located one and one 
half miles from where he was born on the 18th of September, 1875, his parents 
being Knut G. and Martha (Bidne) Nordheim. natives of Norway, the former 
born September 30, 1835, and the latter, June 20, 1837. About the year 1854 
the parents came separately to America and were married in this country, after- 
ward settling in Winneshiek county and spending the remainder of their lives 
on a farm in Pleasant township. The father was numbered among the earliest 
pioneers in this section. He was very poor when he located here, his energy, 
industry and ability, however, bringing him well deserved prosperity. He accu- 
mulated extensive landed holdings, owning one farm of one hundred and sixty- 
two acres and another of two hundred acres, both of which formed portions of 
his estate when he passed away. He was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church and a republican in his political beliefs, holding various township offices 
and rendering the community excellent and faithful service. In his family were 
six children. Albert is operating the home farm. Josephine is the wife of Hol- 
sten Stoen, of Highland township. William passed away in California on the 25th 
of October, 1907. Previous to removing to that state he was agent for the North- 
western Mutual Life Insurance Company in Winneshiek county and was well 
known in public life in this section, serving as deputy treasurer and later as 
county treasurer. He is survived by a wife and four children. Caroline became 
the wife of Peter Gavle, of Madison township. Edwin is the subject of this 
review. Anna Marie, who completes the family, was for some time a teacher 
of shorthand and penmanship at the Breckenridge Institute in Decorah. She 
married Professor William McDaniels, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. 

Edwin Nordheim was reared upon the homestead and acquired his education 
in the district schools of Pleasant township. When not engaged with his books 
he aided his father with the operation of the farm, becoming thus thoroughly 
familiar with the best agricultural methods. This knowledge and experience 
has been invaluable to him in later life, for when he began his independent 
career he naturally turned his attention to the occupation to which he had been 
reared and agricultural pursuits have engaged his energies since that time. He 
now owns two hundred acres of land lying on section 15. Pleasant township, a 
tract which formed a portion of his father's estate, and he has improved and 



126 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

developed this along practical and modern lines, making it today one of the finest 
properties in this vicinity. 

On the 14th of September, 1898, Air. Nordheim was united in marriage to 
.Miss Clara Helena Hover, who was born in Pleasant township on June 19, 1872, 
a daughter of Edwin and Bertha M. (Christian) Hover, natives of Norway, who 
came at an early date to Winneshiek county, settling in Pleasant township, 
where they now reside. Air. and Airs. Nordheim have five children, Victor 
Ervin, Beatrice Meredith, Wallace Mondell, Gladys Lucille and Esther Clarine. 

Air. Nordheim gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is 
at all times interested in the growth and development of his native section and 
active in his cooperation in movements to promote its progress, although he never 
seeks public office. He is a man of many sterling traits of character, capable in 
business, progressive in citizenship and at all times trustworthy and honorable. 



OLE O. M( >E. 



Norway has contributed largely to the citizenship of Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, and among her native sons who are winning success in the state of their 
adoption is Ole O. .Aloe, owner of a valuable farm in Springfield township, this 
county, and stockholder in various important business enterprises of this district. 
He was born in Norway on the 16th of September, 1840, a son of Ole and Jane 
Aloe, who were also natives of that country but came to America in 1857. Upon 
arriving in the United States the parents made their way direct to Wisconsin 
where they resided for three years, after which they came to Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, locating in Glenwood township upon a tract of land which the father had 
to clear ere he could convert it into productive fields. His remaining days were 
devoted to the improvement of that farm, and there he passed away in 1888. 
His wife's demise occurred two years later, in 1890. 

Ole O. Aloe did not accompany his parents on their removal to the new 
world, but remained in his native land until twenty-two years of age before 
making the journey across the Atlantic. Arriving in this country in 1862, he 
came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and during his first four years here worked 
out as a farm hand. At the expiration of that period, however, as the result of 
industry, thrift and enterprise, he was able to invest in land and began farming 
on his own account on a tract of eighty acres which he purchased in Glenwood 
township. To the improvement of that farm he devoted the succeeding twenty 
years, at the expiration of which he sold out and bought a tract of one hundred 
and sixty acres in Frankville township which he continued to operate for thir- 
teen years. Again he sold out and, removing to Springfield township, invested 
in another one hundred and sixty acre farm, located on section n, upon which 
he vet makes his home. He engages in general farming, following up-to- 
date, progressive methods, and the neat and attractive appearance of his farm 
bespeaks a life of industry, enterprise and perseverance on his part. The 
annual yield of his fields is most gratifying, returning to him a substantial 
income, and he is numbered among the successful and prosperous agriculturists 
of his section. Although his time and attention are fully occupied by the careful 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 127 

supervision of his farm he yet has other interests and is a stockholder in the 
Nordness Creamery Company, the Nordness Telephone Company and the Farm- 
ers Hog Company of Decorah. 

Mr. Moe was married, on the 4th of March, 1865, to Miss Esther Munson, 
a native of Norway, and to this union have been born eleven children, as fol- 
lows: John, filling the office of postmaster at Ossian, Winneshiek county; Julius, 
a merchant of Chester, Iowa ; Andrew, who is farming on his father's place ; 
Nicholas, a buttermaker in the creamery at Ossian; Charles, living at home; 
Ole, a resident of Decorah ; Caroline, who married Andrew Anderson, a farmer 
of Frankville township ; Mary, the wife of Svenung Tovson, an agriculturist of 
Springfield township ; Emma, who married Peter Guttebo, who is engaged in 
farming in this township ; Amelia, living at home with her father ; and Ella, the 
wife of Carl Hanson, a professor in a school at Roland, Iowa. The wife and 
mother passed away very suddenly in August, 1899, after only one day of illness, 
and her death was greatly mourned not only by the immediate members of her 
family but by many friends who held her in high esteem. Mr. Moe's religious 
faith is that of the Lutheran church while his political views are in accord with 
the principles of the republican party. High ideals of manhood and the sense of 
honor and integrity which govern all of his dealings with his fellowmen have 
won Mr. Moe the respect and confidence of all with whom he has come in con- 
tact and during his residence in Winneshiek county he has gained many warm 
friends. 



JAMES McMULLEN. 



Almost sixty years have come and gone since James McMullen took up his 
abode in Canoe township, and throughout the greater part of the period he has 
been closely associated with agricultural interests, now owning and cultivating 
eighty acres on section 18. He was a youth of but ten years when he arrived 
in Canoe township, his birth having occurred in McHenry county, Illinois, 
December 21, 1843, n ' s parents being Robert and Martha (Twynen) McMullen, 
both of whom were natives of County Armagh. Ireland, where they were mar- 
ried. In 1840 they started for the United States, settling in McHenry county, 
Illinois, where they resided until 1854, when they came with their family to 
Winneshiek county, Iowa, taking up their abode in Canoe township on the 28th 
of May of that year. Both spent their last days on the farm on which they 
settled in pioneer times. The father died January 10, 1878, at the age of sixty- 
five years, his birth having occurred in 1813, and the mother passed away Feb- 
ruary 14, 1895, when more than seventy years of age. He had been a lifelong 
farmer and was the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of rich and pro- 
ductive land on section 19, Canoe township. He had been reared in the 
Presbyterian church and was always recognized as a man of moral worth. In 
the family were eight children who reached adult age, while several died in 
infancy. The record includes: John, deceased; James; William, who has passed 
away ; Samuel, of Canoe township ; Lizzie, who died at the age of twenty-one 
years ; Sarah, the wife of John Clark, of Colorado ; Emma, the wife of H. A. 
Perose, of Wyoming; and Tillie, the wife of George Headington, of Colorado. 



128 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Since accompanying his parents to Iowa when a lad of ten years, James 
McMullen has continuously resided in Canoe township and has been an inter- 
ested witness of the changes which have occurred throughout all that period to 
the present time. He was trained to the occupation of farming, early becoming 
familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and cultivating the crops. He 
was married in 1866 to Miss Clara Wilson, who was born in Winnebago county, 
Illinois, November 1. 1846, and came with her parents to Iowa in 1850, since 
which time she has lived in Canoe township. She is a daughter of Justice and 
Lucinda Wilson, the former a native of Canada and of Welsh descent. He 
passed away in 1857 at the age of forty-one years, while his wife, who was born 
in County Donegal, Ireland, December 18, 1825, is now a resident of Everly, 
Iowa. Mr and Mrs. McMullen are the parents of six children: Robert, who is 
living in Alberta, Canada; Lucy, the wife of Thomas Gillman, of Decorah ; 
Letitia, the wife of Albert Christian, of Decorah ; Roy, of Decorah ; Bessie, the 
wife of Pearle Bradrich, of Decorah ; and Mattie, the wife of B. Schanck, of 
Wenatchee, Washington. The family still occupy the farm on section 18, 
Canoe township, which was once a part of his father-in-law's property and was 
secured as a claim from the government. Air. McMullen has always made 
farming his life work and his carefully directed labors have been the basis of 
his growing and substantial success. He is well known in the county in which 
the greater part of his life has been passed and is classed among its worthy and 
representative pioneers, for he has not only witnessed the changes which have 
occurred, but has also taken part in the work of public progress and improve- 
ment. 



EDWIN HOVER. 



It is the enterprise and character of the citizen that enrich and ennoble 
the commonwealth and Iowa is indebted in large degree to men of the type of 
Edwin Hover for her stability and prosperity. He is one of Norway's native 
sons, his birth having occurred in Valdres. on the 5th of February, t«4S, a son 
of Hover Evenson and Bertha (Larson) Hoyme. The parents were also natives 
of the land of the midnight sun, the father having been born on the 15th of 
June, 1S18, and the mother on the 14th of March, 1822. They were married in 
their native country about 1843 ar| d m l &4& came to the new world, locating near 
Cambridge, Dane county, Wisconsin. There the father engaged in the black- 
smithing trade, which he had learned in the city of Bergen, Norway, bis time 
being thus occupied for three years. The year 1S51 witnessed the arrival of the 
family in Iowa, the father settling on a farm on section 5, Pleasant township. 
Winneshiek county, where he spent his remaining days. In addition to general 
farming which he carried on during the daytime, he engaged at his trade in the 
evening hours, being the first blacksmith in the northern half of Winneshiek 
county. For a number of years the settlers of that district depended entirely 
upon him for all of their blaeksmithing. At the time the family made settle- 
ment in Iowa, Winneshiek county was largely a frontier district and the family 
were confronted with many pioneer conditions. The father made all of the 
shoes and clothes for the family and it was a matter of two or three days' drive 




MR. AND MRS. EDWIN HOVER 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 131 

with ox teams to Lansing, the nearest trading post, which was thirty miles away. 
As he prospered he became the owner of three hundred and seventy-eight and 
a half acres which he brought to a high state of cultivation. He was a progres- 
sive man and was one of the first to purchase a threshing machine, which he 
hauled from McGregor. For a number of years he carried on threshing profit- 
ably and won success in his various undertakings, becoming one of the prominent 
and substantial residents of Winneshiek county. He gave his political allegiance 
to the republican party and held a number of township offices. He was one 
of the organizers and builders of the Methodist Episcopal church and was a 
liberal supporter and a faithful member thereof. He passed away on the home- 
stead farm on the 17th of April, 1882, and his wife died on the nth of October, 
1892. They were the parents of fourteen children, of whom five are now living, 
namely: Edwin, of this review; Sarah, the wife of J. J. Kessey, of Forest City, 
Iowa; Isabella, who married J. J. Shervin, of Pleasant township; Lewis H., of 
Wadena, Minnesota; and Henry A., of Pleasant township. 

Edwin Hover, the eldest in his father's family, was the only child born in 
Norway and was a little lad of three years when brought to the United States 
by his parents. His boyhood days were spent amid the pioneer conditions of a 
frontier district and consequently his opportunities for an education were limited. 
His practical training, however, was thorough, for at an early age he began work- 
ing in the fields. Upon attaining his majority he wisely chose as his life work 
the occupation to which he had been reared and has since given his attention to 
agricultural pursuits. He is now the owner of two hundred and thirty-seven 
acres lying on sections 5 and 8, Pleasant township, a portion of this farm belong- 
ing to the old family homestead upon which his father located after his arrival 
in this county. It is in excellent condition, due to the well directed efforts of 
father and son, and is given over to general farming and stock-raising purposes, 
in both of which branches Mr. Hover is meeting with excellent success. 

In 1868 Mr. Hover was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Maria Christian, 
who was born in Norway on the 17th of January, 1846. She was brought to the 
United States in 1857 by her parents, Christian and Anna Marie (Larson) 
Christianson, natives of Vardal, Norway, the father's birth occurring on the 
20th of August, 1817, and the mother's on the 8th of January, 1821. The father 
was a farmer by occupation and was thus engaged until the time of his death, 
on the 6th of March, 1900. His wife survived until the 30th of July, 1905. In 
their family were eight children, two sons and six daughters. Unto Mr. and 
Mrs. Hover were born nine children, as follows: Matilda, who was born Feb- 
ruary 5, 1870, and is now the wife of Edwin Quisel, a resident of Toronto, South 
Dakota; Clara Helena, born June 19, 1872, who is the wife of Edwin Nord- 
heim, of Pleasant township; Amanda Elizabeth, who passed away in infancy; 
Edward H., who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume; Charles Elmer, born 
June 24, 1878, a resident of Newburg, Minnesota; Alice Sophia, born June 17, 
1881, who is the widow of Albert Lodahl and with her daughter, Aletta Bernice, 
makes her home with her father ; Lily Amanda, whose death occurred at the age 
of ten months; Idella Malvina, born February 14, 1886, who is a music teacher; 
and Alma Henrietta, who was born May 11, 1889, and engages in school teaching. 

A man of much public spirit, Mr. Hover has never allowed personal affairs 
to monopolize his time and attention to the exclusion of participation in matters 



132 I'AST AXI) PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

relating to the public welfare, and his efforts in behalf of general progress have 
been potent factors in the growth and development of the community. He is a 
stanch supporter of the republican party and by reason of his personal worth 
has been called by his fellowmen to fill various positions of trust. For eight 
terms or sixteen years he served as township assessor, acted as trustee and also 
as justice of the peace for a number of years and also served as school director 
for some time. He was county supervisor for one term of three vears and 
during his term of office the new courthouse was built. He readily cooperates 
in all movements and projects instituted for the betterment of his locality and 
the county at large, and his public-spirited course has won him a place of prom- 
inence and influence among his fellow citizens. Reared in the Methodist Epis- 
copal faith, he is an active member and one of the pillars of that church, doing 
all in his power to further its influence. Mr. Hover inherited as a birthright 
many of the strong characteristics of the Norwegian race, and it is these sterling 
qualities that have brought him the well merited success which he now enjoys, 
while upright manhood and honorable principles have won in large measure the 
confidence and high regard of his fellowmen. 



TORGER T. HOVE. 



A finely improved and highly productive farm in Springfield township, Win- 
neshiek county, pays tribute to the well directed efforts and business sagacity 
of Torger T. Hove. Like many other of Winneshiek county's successful agri- 
culturists Mr. Hove came from the land of the midnight sun and possesses in 
large measure the sturdy qualities of character common to that nationality. 
Born in Norway on the 25th of April, 1851, he is a son of Thor and Mary P. 
(Boito) Torgerson, also natives of that land. The father brought his family to 
America in 1865, seeking the larger opportunities offered by the new world, 
and at once made his way to Winneshiek county, Iowa, where he resided for one 
year with his brother. He then purchased a farm in Springfield township and 
later purchased other property, operating two or three places in Winneshiek 
county and becoming a successful agriculturist. In 1879 he became the owner 
of the farm upon which his son Torger T. Hove now makes his home and that 
property he continued to operate until his death, which occurred in 1892, while 
his wife, who long survived him, died in 1910. 

Torger T. Hove, who was a lad of fourteen years when brought to America 
by his parents, had begun his education in the schools of Norway and this was 
continued in the district schools of Winneshiek county. In the meantime he was 
also receiving practical lessons on his father's farm which should later serve him 
in good stead, and upon laying aside his text-books he worked out as a farm hand, 
so continuing until 1879. In that year he was able, through the careful saving 
of his earnings, to purchase eighty acres which he improved and operated for 
seventeen years, and at the end of that time he bought the home place from his 
brother, a tract consisting of one hundred and nineteen and a half acres located 
on section 12, Springfield township. He at once applied himself to its further 
development, making many improvements upon the place including the erection 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 133 

of a fine modern house and substantial outbuildings. His fields are in a high 
state of cultivation and his farm, neat and attractive in appearance, is one of the 
valuable farming properties in the township. Mr. Hove is well known in busi- 
ness circles in this district as a stockholder in the Nordness Creamery Company, 
the Nordness Telephone Company and the Farmers Hog Company. 

On the 29th of August, 1879, occurred the marriage of Air. Hove and Miss 
Mary M. Remen, a daughter of Nels M. and Mary P. (Egge) Remen, natives 
of Norway, and Mr. and Mrs. Hove became the parents of eleven children, of 
whom three, Mary, Nettie and Selma, are deceased. The surviving children are 
Theodore, Tilda, Selma, Nels, Mabel, Andrew, Paul and Becca. The Lutheran 
church of Decorah numbers Mr. Hove among its members while the candidates 
and measures of the republican party receive his stalwart support. He is inter- 
ested in all that pertains to the welfare of the community in which he lives and 
the state at large, and although his time is fully occupied by his business affairs 
he does all he can to promote the material, political and moral progress of his 
section. 



EDGAR ARNESS. 



That Winneshiek county is an attractive place of residence and that her fer- 
tile acres afford excellent agricultural opportunities is indicated by the fact that 
many of her native sons have remained within her borders, continuing to make 
this district the scene of their business activity. Among this number is Edgar 
Arness, whose birth occurred in Frankville township on the 2d of December, 
1886, a son of Louis and Gundle (Ramsey) Arness, natives of Frankville town- 
ship, this county. Both parents were reared and educated in Winneshiek county 
and in Frankville township the father has engaged in farming throughout his 
entire lifetime. He still remains in this occupation, having attained the age of 
fifty-three years, while his wife is fifty years of age. 

Reared upon the farm which had been his parents' home for many years, 
Edgar Arness devoted the years of his boyhood and youth to the work of the 
fields and the acquirement of an education in the district schools. He remained 
at home, giving his father the benefit of his assistance in the cultivation of the 
home farm until 1908, when, having attained his majority, he took up agricul- 
tural pursuits on his own account, wisely choosing as his life work the occupa- 
tion to which he had been reared. He purchased what was known as the Henry 
Mess farm, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres of land located on sec- 
tion 36, Decorah township, and to its further development he has since given 
his attention. It is a well improved property, indicating in its neat appearance 
the thrift, industry and systematic methods of its owner. 

Mr. Arness laid the foundation for a pleasant home life in his marriage, on 
the 2d of June, 1909, to Miss Ida Tashlow, a daughter of Hans and Synova 
Tashlow, natives of Norway and Winneshiek county, Iowa, respectively. The 
young couple hold membership in the Lutheran church while Mr. Arness' polit- 
ical affiliation is with the republican party. His life record covering but twenty- 
seven years, Mr. Arness is actuated by the ambition and enthusiasm of youth 



134 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

which urges him on toward the goal of success. He possesses in large meas- 
ure the spirit of progress which dominates the middle west and by persistent 
and well directed effort he has already attained a degree of prosperity which 
augurs well for future achievement. He is a member of the Lutheran church. 
He is well known in the district in which he has spent his entire life and has 
won many friends by reason of his upright manhood and character. 



FRED W. CONOVER, D. D. S. 

Dentistry may be said to be almost unique among occupations, as ; t is at once 
a profession, a trade and a business. Such being the case, it follows that in 
order to attain the highest success in it one must be thoroughly conversant with 
the theory of the art. must be expert with the many instruments and appliances 
incidental to the practice of modern dentistry and must possess business quali- 
fications adequate to dealing with the financial side of the profession. In all of 
these particulars, Dr. Fred W. Conover is well qualified and therefore has at- 
tained prestige among the able representatives of dentistry in Decorah and 
throughout the state. His birth occurred in Allamakee county, Iowa, on the 16th 
of November. 1859, his parents being Firman and Mary ( Bigelow ) Conover, 
who are natives of New York and Connecticut respectively. The father, an 
agriculturist by occupation, came to this state in 1856, settling in Allamakee 
county, where he operated a rented farm and also taught school. Failing health 
caused him to return to New York, but he soon retraced his way back to Alla- 
makee county. Iowa, and resumed farming. Again broken in health, he went 
back to his native state, disposing of his Iowa property, and embarked in the 
butchering business at Daynesville. Lewis county. New York, remaining there 
until the spring of 1 87 1. He then came to Winneshiek county, where he bought 
a farm, which he operated until 1895, when he disposed of the same, removing 
to Frankville. where he lived until 1906. He then put aside the active work of 
the fields, taking up his abode in Decorah, where he lived retired until death 
claimed him. at the ripe old age of eighty-three years. His wife is still living 
at the age of seventy-two. 

Fred W. Conover obtained his early education in the schools of Allamakee 
county, Iowa, Connecticut. New York, and Winneshiek county. Iowa, accom- 
panying his parents on their various removals. Subsequently he entered the 
Upper Iowa LJniversity at Fayette and later attended Breckenridge Institute at 
Decorah. Afterwards he followed the profession of school teaching for nine 
years, spending the last two years of that time as principal of West Decorah 
schools. Determining to become a practitioner of dentistry, he entered the Phil- 
adelphia Dental College and was graduated from that institution in 1890. He 
first opened an office for practice in Decorah but at the end of six months dis- 
posed of his interests here and removed to Sioux City, where he remained for 
fourteen months. On selling out there he returned to Decorah and has here 
practiced his profession continuously since. He enjoys an extensive and lucrative 
patronage that is indeed well merited. While teaching school he also learned 
telegraphy and for one year worked as extra man. For the past fifteen years 




FRED W. CONOVER 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 137 

he has been a stockholder and director in the Citizens Savings Bank and is like- 
wise a stockholder in several other banks, while of the Building & Loan Asso- 
ciation he has acted as vice president and director for twelve years. His is a 
handsomely equipped office and he also owns a fine residence at No. 412 West 
Broadway. 1 

On the 1 2th of November, 1891, Dr. Conover was joined in wedlock to Miss 
Mary R. Heivly, a daughter of Henry and Mary (Sheets) Heivly, both of whom 
were natives of Pennsylvania. The father, a miller by trade, came to Decorah 
and here purchased a flour mill which he operated for some years, being at the 
same time engaged in the mercantile business. He passed away in 1901 but is 
survived by his widow, who has now attained the age of eighty-three years and 
resides with our subject. Dr. and Mrs. Conover have one son, Harry W., who 
is in the service of a lumber concern. 

In politics Dr. Conover is independent, supporting men and measures rather 
than party. He has ably served as a member of the city council. He is prom- 
inent fraternally, being a past noble grand of the Odd Fellows lodge and a past 
exalted ruler of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, serving twice in the 
latter capacity and also as representative to the grand lodge. Dr. Conover is 
also prominent in Masonry, having attained the thirty-second degree in that 
organization. He is a past master of the blue lodge, a past high priest of King 
Solomon's Chapter, and eminent commander of Beausant Commandery, as well 
as a member of the Shrine. In the Knights of Pythias he is a past chancellor 
and is likewise identified with the Brotherhood of Yeomen. His friends find 
him always a genial, courteous gentleman, who has true appreciation for the 
social amenities of life, and while never too busy to be courteous, is not too 
courteous to be busy. 



OLE H. ORVELLA. 



A well improved and highly cultivated farm of one hundred and sixty acres 
in Springfield township, Winneshiek county, is the visible evidence of modern 
methods and persistent effort on the part of its owner, Ole H. Orvella, who as 
a stockholder in several well known business enterprises of this county, is also 
a prominent figure in business circles in this district. Winneshiek county claims 
him as one of her native sons, his birth having occurred in Springfield township, 
December 20, 1861, his parents being Hans and Ingeborg (Brown) Orvella, both 
natives of Norway. The father came to America in the '50s, and, making his 
way directly to Winneshiek county, Iowa, was numbered among the pioneer set- 
tlers of this district. He purchased land in Springfield township which he 
cleared and transformed into fertile fields, and to the cultivation of that farm 
he devoted his remaining days, passing away there in January, 191 1. His wife 
had preceded him in death, her demise occurring in 1901. 

Ole H. Orvella acquired his education in the district schools near his parents' 
home and at an early age took his place in the fields, his father's farm being the 
training ground upon which he received his preparatory knowledge of the prac- 
tical duties of life. On laying aside his text-books he gave his entire attention 



138 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

to the work of the farm and remained with his father until he had attained the 
age of twenty-four, when, ambitious to engage in agricultural pursuits on his own 
account, he purchased forty acres of land on section 13, Springfield township, 
which he operated until 1906. in which year he sold that tract and purchased his 
present farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 14, Springfield township. 
This farm has been developed year by year, as his progressive ideas have taken 
on material form, and today it is one of the valuable and highly improved prop- 
erties of the township,— a visible evidence of his persistent purpose and well 
directed efforts. Success is his in large measure and as he has prospered he has 
become financially connected with several of the important business enterprises 
of the county, being a stockholder in the Nordness Creamery Company, the Nord- 
ness Telephone Company, the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah and the Ossian 
Produce Company of Ossian. Iowa, all of which are sources of a substantial 
annual income. 

Mr. Orvella was married in November, 1885, to Miss Gunnild Tovson, a 
daughter of Tov and Signe ( Yinlus ) Tovson, both natives of Norway, who at 
first came to Wisconsin but after a few weeks went to Ossian, Winneshiek 
county. Of this union have been born five children, namely : Selma, aged twenty- 
six years, who is the wife of Ole Anderson, a farmer residing near Ossian; 
Hilda, aged twenty-four years, who lives at home; and Clara, Helmer and Grant, 
aged respectively twenty-two, nineteen and eleven, who are also under the parental 
roof. In his religious faith Mr. Orvella is a Lutheran while in his political 
allegiance he supports the progressive party. Progress has ever been the watch- 
word of his life and has actuated him in the pursuit of his chosen life work with 
the result that today he ranks among the prosperous and successful agriculturists 
and business men of his native county. 



OLE RUSTAD. 



A native of Norway, Ole Rustad came to America in 1880 and 1881 marks 
his advent in Winneshiek county, where for many years he was engaged in 
agricultural pursuits in Highland township, but is now located in Springfield 
township, where for the past four years he has conducted the only mercantile 
establishment in Nordness, enjoying a large and profitable patronage. For the 
past two years he has also served as station agent for the Rock Island Railroad 
here. Born in the Norseland on July 12, 1857, Ole Rustad is a son of Martin 
and Lizzie ( Gulbrandson ) Rustad, natives of Norway. The father, who had 
been engaged as an agriculturist in his native land, came to America in his later 
years and located in Wisconsin in 1883. where he remained one year before 
coming to Winneshiek county. He has made his home with his son Ole ever 
since and is still enjoying good health at the remarkable age of ninety years. His 
wife passed away in 1859 when our subject was but two years of age. 

Ole Rustad was reared and educated in Norway and in 1880 came to America, 
making his way inland to Wisconsin, where he remained one year before coming 
to Winneshiek county. Here he hired out for some time by the month, carefully 
husbanding his earnings and subsequently acquiring title to a farm of one hun- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 139 

dred and sixty acres in Highland township. He immediately set himself to 
work to clear and improve this property and in the course of seventeen years 
made it one of the most valuable in his section, all of his land being put to good 
use and the substantial buildings bespeaking the prosperity of the enterprise. 
He then sold out and came to Nordness, where he engaged in the mercantile 
business, acquiring a complete stock and convenient building, and he has since 
operated his store with ever increasing success. He enjoys a large patronage 
and as he has the only store in Nordness does a most profitable business. He 
carries in stock practically everything that might be demanded by his customers, 
and by his obliging ways and fair methods has made numerous friends for his 
business. 

In January, 1886, Mr. Rustad was united in marriage to Miss Nettie Sherven, 
a daughter of Jens and Bertha Sherven, natives of Norway. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Rustad were born four children : Lizzie, the wife of Charles M. Nelson, an 
agriculturist of Pleasant township, this county ; Mabel, who married Hans Hal- 
verson, who also farms in that township ; Abraham, who follows the same occu- 
pation ; and Mary, at home. 

During the last two years Mr. Rustad has added to his multitudinous duties 
that of station agent for the Rock Island Railroad, being efficient in the dis- 
charge of his duties and pleasing the railroad officials as much by his work as 
the general public, who appreciate the careful and expeditious manner in which 
he handles the railroad work for them. His religious faith is that of the Meth- 
odist church, and politically he is a republican, always keeping well informed 
upon public questions, although he has never cared to actively participate in polit- 
ical affairs of his district. The life record of Mr. Rustad is highly commend- 
able, for it demonstrates what can be accomplished if industry and energy lead 
the way, and it may well serve as an example to the younger generations. He is 
highly respected and esteemed by all who know him in a business as well as in 
a social way and enjoys the confidence and good-will of his many friends. 



CHARLES C. MARLOW. 

Comparatively few American people spend their entire lives in a single 
locality. We have been called a transitory people because the great majority 
go from place to place seeking more favorable opportunities than they believe 
can be secured in districts where they have already resided for a greater or less 
period. Charles C. Marlow, however, proves an exception to the rule, for he 
was born upon the farm which is still his home and has always resided here. His 
natal day was November 15, 1865, and his parents were Edward G. and Martha 
Anna (Clark) Marlow. His grandparents were John and Elizabeth (Heading- 
ton) Marlow, who were natives of Ohio and spent the greater part of their lives 
there, but their last days were spent in Canoe township. The father was born 
in Knox county, Ohio, June 1, 1826, and came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, in 
1857. His wife was a native of Wyandotte, Ohio, and they were married in 
the Buckeye state. Following their removal to the west, they took up their abode 
in Canoe township and their remaining days were here passed. The mother 



140 PAST AXD PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

died here in 1890 and later Mr. Marlow retired from active business, taking up 
his abode in Decorah four or five years prior to his death, which here occurred 
in August, 1905. His entire life had been devoted to farming and he was the 
owner of three hundred and fifty-five acres of rich and arable land on sections 
21 and 28. Canoe township. He built a large brick residence here and carefully 
tilled the fields and cultivated his crops, converting his place into a valuable 
property. He took an active interest in politics and gave his support to the 
democratic party, but did not seek nor desire office as a reward for partv fealty. 
Unto him and his wife were born five children: Chauncy and John S.. both of 
whom died in childhood; Josie L.. who passed away in iqii: Xora. living in 
Decorah ; and Charles C. 

The last named was reared to the occupation of farming, dividing his time 
during the period <>f his boyhood and youth between the work of the fields, the 
duties of the schoolroom and the pleasures of the playground. He became 
familiar with the most practical and effective methods of tilling the soil and so 
was well qualified to carry on farming on his own account when he started out 
in life independently. He has always resided upon what is known as the old 
Marlow homestead and is the owner of one hundred and fifty-five acres of his 
father's estate and also secured eighty acres which had belonged to his sister, 
recently deceased. This farm was well improved by Edward G. Marlow and 
the further work of development has been conducted by his son. Charles C, 
who today ranks with the leading and energetic agriculturists of the community. 

In 1891 Mr. Marlow was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Brichner, who 
was born in Decorah, December 29, 1869. a daughter of Henry I. and Julia 
(Shank) Brichner. The father was born in York. Pennsylvania, January 17, 
1832. and the mother's birth occurred in Berkeley county. West Virginia. Tune 
28. 1834. They were married there and in 1858 arrived in Iowa, residing in 
Decorah until 1871. when they took up their abode on the farm in Canoe town- 
ship which was their place of residence for twenty-five years. They then 
returned to Decorah in 1896 and Mr. Brichner passed away there February 
17. 1907. The widow still resides in Decorah. The father was a carpenter, 
builder and farmer. He served for three years as a soldier of the Civil war, 
enlisting from this county as a member of Company E, Thirty-Eighth Iowa 
Volunteer Infantry. In days of peace he was equally loyal to his country and 
was faithful to every cause which he espoused. He held membership in the 
Methodist Episcopal church and he gave his political support to the republican 
party. Unto him and his wife were born nine children: Virginia, who is the 
widow of William McKraney and resides in Dubuque ; John Henry, a ranch- 
man of Nebraska ; Edward G., a mail clerk of St. Paul ; Hattie, who became 
the wife of H. S. Smith and died in 191 1 ; Mrs. Marlow : Anna, the wife of John 
Beucher. living in Lincoln township; Sidney E.. a resident farmer of Glenwood 
township; Grace Ruth, the wife of F. A. Ruth, a resident farmer of Canoe 
township; and Clement R., a lineman of Sparta, Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. 
Marlow have become the parents of seven children, Clifford, Ina, Leon, Blanche, 
Grace, Dorothy and Charlie, all of whom are living with the exception of Grace, 
who died at the age of six years. The fact that Charles C. Marlow has been a 
lifelong resident of Winneshiek county indicates the attractiveness and opportun- 
ities of this section of the state, for he is an ambitious and energetic man and 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 141 

would have sought opportunity and success elsewhere if it could not have been 
won in this district. He has, however, through the exercise of his industry and 
perseverance, intelligently directed, won a place among the substantial farmers 
of the community, and he has a circle of friends almost coextensive with the 
circle of his acquaintance. 



GEORGE BERNATZ. 



George Bernatz, a well known and influential resident of Decorah, is suc- 
cessfully engaged in the grocery business at the corner of Mill and Water streets 
and enjoys a most gratifying patronage in this connection. His birth occurred 
in Rochester, New York, in March, 1847, his parents being Michael and Martha 
Bernatz, the former born in the kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, on the river 
Rhine, on the 4th of October, 1S15. Michael Bernatz learned the baker's trade 
in that country and in J846 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, locating 
in Rochester, New York, where he worked at his trade until 1849. In that year 
he went to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and there conducted a bakery until 
1854, when his wife died. He then moved across the Mississippi river to Mc- 
Gregor, Iowa, where he built the fifth house in the town and opened a bakery 
which he conducted until 1857. In that year he erected the White Springs Brew- 
ery but did not find the business congenial and disposed of his interests in 1859. 
He then started for Texas but yellow fever then raging in that state, he turned 
back after journeying as far as New Orleans. In i860 he purchased the Smith- 
field flouring mills at Smithfield, Iowa, and in 1865 bought the Eagle flouring 
mills in Winneshiek county, Iowa, east of Decorah, operating them for three 
years. On the expiration of that period they sold out and purchased the Rice- 
ford flour mill at Riceford, Houston county, Minnesota, which Michael Bernatz 
operated in association with his two sons, George and Anthony. Anthony Ber- 
natz now operates a flour mill in Decorah, Iowa. In 1868 Michael Bernatz built 
a mill at Newburg, Minnesota, and two years later went to Chaska, that state, 
erecting a water power mill near Minneapolis. He operated his three mills until 
1874 and in that year returned to Iowa because of impaired health, purchasing 
the Evergreen flour mill at Fort Atkinson, Winneshiek county, in partnership 
with his two sons. At the end of about fifteen years he retired and sold out 
to his sons, who continued the operation of the mill for about four years longer 
or until it was destroyed by fire. His demise occurred at Fort Atkinson, in 
1886, and thus the community lost one of its most substantial and respected 
citizens. 

George Bernatz obtained his education largely at McGregor, Iowa. After 
putting aside his text-books he began working for his father and remained his 
associate until the latter retired and turned over his interests to him and his 
brother Anthony. When their mill at Fort Atkinson had burned the two brothers 
purchased the Ames flour mill at that place and operated the same for two 
years. At the end of that time George Bernatz sold out and came to Decorah, 
Iowa, here purchasing the Ice Cave and Hivly flour and feed mills, which he 
operated for about three years. On the expiration of that period he disposed 



142 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

of the same to his brother, who is still operating the mills in association with his 
sons. George Bernatz then embarked in the grocery business at the corner of 
Mill and Water streets and has been engaged therein to the present time, enjoy- 
ing an extensive and well merited patronage. He owns the store building and 
carries a large and well selected line of staple and fancy groceries. He is also 
an engineer by profession and formerly made a specialty of dam building, con- 
structing dams all over the country, including two at Decorah, which were built 
in an early day and are still in use. His dams have been very effective in check- 
ing floods and have proved far superior to others, which incurred damage to the 
amount of one or two thousand dollars annually. In 1863, when a youth of but 
fifteen, Mr. Bernatz enlisted in the Union army and served in the commissary 
department for five months. At the end of that time he contracted smallpox 
and was obliged to return home. 

In June, 1873, Mr. Bernatz was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Shook, 
her parents being Jacob and Mary Shook, natives of Germany. They emigrated 
to the United States in an early day and located at Brownsville, Minnesota, where 
Mr. Shook conducted a hotel for three years. On the expiration of that period 
he sold out and went to La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he -also conducted a hotel 
for some years and then removed to Riceford, Minnesota, purchasing a farm and 
hotel. Several years later he went to Hokah, Minnesota, and was there engaged 
in the hotel business during the remainder of his life. His demise occurred in 
1881, while his wife passed away in South Dakota, in 1886. Unto Mr. and 
Mrs. Bernatz were born eight children, as follows : Nellie, who is the wife of 
Henry Gisen and resides at Calmar, Iowa; George, who is engaged in the milling 
business at Eldorado, Iowa ; Bert, a railroad man who makes his home at Cal- 
mar; Frank, who is associated in business with his father; Mabel, the wife of 
Dr. Henry Diely, of Emery, South Dakota ; Albert, at home ; and two, who died 
in infancy. The wife and mother was called to her final rest on January 14, 
1888. and since that time Mr. Bernatz has lived above his store, having sold his 
residence. 

Politically Air. Bernatz is a republican. He served as a member of the city 
council for three terms and also acted as a school director at Fort Atkinson, 
proving an able public servant in both connections. He was reared in the Cath- 
olic faith but is not connected with any church. His acquaintance is wide and 
all who know him speak of him in warm terms of praise and admiration by rea- 
son of his business ability and his attractive personal qualities. 



CYRUS F. BARFOOT. 



Cyrus F. Barfoot, who for the past nineteen years has operated his father's 
property of three hundred and fifty acres on sections 19 and 30, Madison town- 
ship, was born in Decorah in 1858, a son of Benjamin T. and Jane (Dougherty) 
Barfoot, natives of Ohio. The father went to Freeport, Illinois, from that state 
and worked at the carpenter's trade for two years, moving to Decorah, Iowa, in 
1855. He there resumed his former occupation and continued at it for a num- 
ber of years, turning his attention to general farming in 1867. In that year he 





MR. AND MRS. CYRUS F. BARFOOT 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 145 

took up his residence upon one hundred and sixty acres of land in the north- 
east quarter of section 30, Madison township, a property to which he had entered 
claim January 15, 1856. This he set about improving and developing and also 
the quarter section adjoining, which he had entered July 16, 1861. He after- 
ward bought more land and became an extensive property holder, owning at 
one time four hundred and thirty acres. This fine tract he continued to oper- 
ate until 1894, when he retired from active life and moved to Decorah, where he 
resided until his death, which occurred April 2, 1912. He had survived his wife 
only a few weeks, her death having occurred on the 12th of March of the same 
year. 

Cyrus F. Barfoot was reared at home and educated in district schools and 
the public schools of Decorah. He afterward took a course in a business college 
at Burlington, Iowa, and after completing it returned to his native city, where he 
served for four years as deputy in the county treasurer's office. At the end of 
that time he entered his father's employ and aided in the operation of the home- 
stead from 1888 until 1895, in which year he bought his father's stock and 
machinery and rented the farm, upon which he has since resided. During the 
nineteen years he has operated this property success has steadily attended his 
well directed efforts and it is now a well improved place, upon which is a neat 
residence, together with substantial outbuildings and all the equipment of a model 
farming property. He owns in addition one hundred and sixty acres of land in 
western Nebraska. 

On the 27th of February, 1895, Mr. Barfoot was united in marriage to Miss 
Carrie Yarwood, a daughter of George W. and Maria (Lee) Yarwood, the 
former a native of England and the latter of Wisconsin. When the father came 
to America he settled first in New York and in 1855 moved to Winneshiek 
county, Iowa, where he purchased and improved a farm in Calmar township, 
operating this property until his death in the fall of 1901. His wife survived him 
a few years, dying November 28, 1908. 

Mr. Barfoot gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has 
always taken an active part in public affairs. He served as secretary of the 
school board for twelve years and is now in the seventeenth consecutive year 
of his service as township clerk, a position to which he has been elected nine 
times. He is a progressive business man and a practical farmer, who seems to 
recognize the value of every situation and to make the most of his opportunities. 
Through well directed and untiring efforts he has developed a model farm, 
which in its neat and attractive appearance is indicative of his life of industry 
and thrift. 



T. H. ANSTEN. 



One of the successful farmers and stock-raisers and progressive business 
men of Madison township is T. H. Ansten, who is living on section 11. There 
he owns and cultivates a fine farm of one hundred and ninety-five acres which 
is constantly increasing in value because of the care and labor he bestows upon 
it. He is a native of this township and county, born September 27, 1857, his 



146 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

parents being Herbrand and Engric ( Kapson ) Ansten, natives of Norway. The 
father came to America and after remaining for a short time in Wisconsin, 
where he first located, came to Winneshiek county, Iowa. He bought a tract of 
timber land in Madison township and with characteristic energy turned his at- 
tention to clearing and developing this property, making it before his death, in 
1890, a well improved and valuable farm. His wife survived him some years, 
dying in 1900. 

T. H. Ansten was reared and educated in .Madison township and before his 
father's death bought the homestead, which he has since developed and im- 
proved. It contains one hundred and ninety-five acres of valuable land on sec- 
tions 2, 11 and 14, Madison township, and upon it he has made substantial im- 
provements, erecting modern barns and outbuildings and installing the necessary 
equipment. Mr. Ansten is a stockholder in the Farmers Creamery Company and 
the Farmers Hog Buying Company of Decorah, and his ability is widely recog- 
nized in business circles. 

In October, 1886, Mr. Ansten was united in marriage to Mary Jacobson 
Skare, a daughter of Jacob and Aase Skare, natives of Norway, who never came 
to America. Mr. and Mrs. Ansten have a son, Henry I., who was born January 

3. 1889. 

Mr. Ansten is a devout member of the Lutheran church and he guides his 
honorable and upright life by its doctrines. A stanch republican, he has never 
sought to figure prominently in public life, preferring to concentrate his energies 
upon his business affairs, and as the years have passed he has won a creditable 
measure of success, his diligence constituting an important element in his pros- 
perity. 



JOHANNES 15. WIST. 



Johannes B. Wist has a wide acquaintance, especially in the middle west, 
as an editor of Norwegian-American papers, and since 1906 has been Norwegian 
vice consul for the state of Iowa. He is now editor-in-chief of the Decorah 
Posten and is likewise one of the publishers and editors of the Symra, a Nor- 
wegian-American magazine. He was born April 6, 1864, in the district of 
Trondhjem, Norway, his parents being Benjamin and Magdalene Wist, the former 
a country merchant. He acquired a good education in high schools and academies 
of his native country and for two years was a private tutor in the district of 
Osterdalen, this covering the years 1882 and 1883. While there he began writ- 
ing for newspapers and became correspondent to a number of publications. 
He also acted as reporter at many political meetings in those stormy days of 
Norwegian politics. In 1884 he came to the United Stales and throughout the 
intervening period to the present has been connected with the publication of 
Norwegian- American papers in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Glenwood and Granite 
Falls, Minnesota, and at Madison. Wisconsin. He entered upon active connec- 
tion with the Decorah Posten in 1900 and since 1901 has been its chief editor. 
It is a newsy, entertaining paper of national importance and with forty thousand 
subscribers and devoted to the interests of the Norwegian-American population 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 147 

of the United States. It is lacking in none of those things which go to make 
up the attractive type of modern journalism. Air. Wist is also one of the pub- 
lishers and editors of the Symra, a Norwegian-American magazine, which was 
established in 1905, and is now treasurer of the Symra Company, which took 
over the publication in January, 191 3. He has been much interested in Nor- 
wegian-American history and has done some work in that field. He has also 
written some poems for papers and magazines, aside from many editorials which 
he has penned. 

On the 28th of December, 1885, at Glenwood, Minnesota, Mr. Wist was 
united in marriage to Miss Josephine Aasve, a daughter of Ole A. Aasve, one of 
the early settlers of Winneshiek county, who removed from Iowa to Kansas 
and later to Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Wist have four children, Clara, Benjamin, 
Annie and Joseph. In politics Mr. Wist is a progressive republican. He has 
never sought political office, but in 1906 he was appointed Norwegian vice consul 
for the state of Iowa and has since continued in that position. His religious faith 
is indicated by his membership in the Norwegian Lutheran Synod. Since 1912 
he has been president of the Norwegian Press Association of America, and is 
one of the directors of the Norwegian Society of America. He has also been 
president of the Symra Literary Society and "Det Norske Selskab," of Decorah. 
He has great influence among his fellow countrymen and through the journal- 
istic field has labored earnestly and faithfully to promote the welfare of people 
of his nationality, seeking not only their material but also their intellectual and 
moral advancement. 



TOLLEF T. ISTAD. 



Tollef T. Istad, carrying on general farming and stock-raising upon eighty 
acres on section 22, Madison township, is one of the many industrious and suc- 
cessful citizens whom Norway has given to Iowa, his birth having occurred in 
that country, July 21, 1859. He is a son of Tollef and Engrid (Vik) Istad, 
also natives of that country, who came from there to Winneshiek county in 1869. 
They settled in Madison township, where the father rented land which he oper- 
ated until 1876, in which year he purchased a farm. The crops in that section 
of the state failing disastrously, however, he sold his property after one year 
and for six years thereafter farmed as a renter. At the end of that time he 
bought one hundred and sixty acres on sections 22, 23, 26 and 27, Afadison 
township and improved and operated this property for seven years, selling it 
finally and forming a partnership with his two sons, Tollef T. and Andrew T. 
They purchased two hundred and forty acres of land on sections 22, 23, 26 and 
27, Madison township, but the father was never active in the operation of this 
property. He now makes his home with A. T. Istad and is in the seventy- 
seventh year of his age. His wife has passed away, her death having occurred 
in 1902. 

Tollef T. Istad was ten years of age when his parents crossed the Atlantic 
and he completed an education begun in Norway in the district schools of Win- 
neshiek county and in the Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. When he was 



148 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

twenty-one years of age he went to work as a farm hand, spending two summers 
in this occupation, and at the end of that time he formed the above-mentioned 
partnership with his father and brother, aiding in the operation of the two 
hundred and forty acres in Madison township. They operated this place to- 
gether for one year but at the end of that time Mr. Istad of this review rented 
out his share and became a tenant of another farm which he operated for a short 
time, eventually returning to the homestead. His holdings now comprise eighty 
acres on section 22 and the farni is well improved with substantial barns and out- 
buildings, all of which Mr. Istad erected. Understanding farming in principle 
and detail, he has made a success of his agricultural operations and is today one 
of the most progressive and substantial farmers in this locality. 

In May, 1892, Air. Istad was united in marriage to Miss Kjerste Bjerke, a 
daughter of Andrew and Sarah (Haukedal) Bjerke, natives of Norway, who 
came to America at an early date and located in Winneshiek county, Iowa, 
where the father engaged in farming during the remainder of his life. Mrs. 
Istad passed away after a long illness on March 2, 1907, leaving a son, Theo- 
dore, who is twenty years of age. 

Mr. Istad is a member of the Lutheran church and gives his political allegi- 
ance to the progressive party, serving for two years as treasurer of the school 
iboard. He is a stockholder in the Farmers Creamery Company and the Farm- 
ers Hog Buying Company of Decorah. In the township where he has made his 
home for so many years his life has commanded the respect and esteem of all 
who have come in contact with him and his success has placed him in the front 
ranks of progressive agriculturists. 



FRED BIERMANN. 



Fred Biermann, proprietor and editor of The Decorah Journal, is represen- 
tative of the modern, aggressive newspaper man of the times, one whose suc- 
cess is based upon innate ability and most careful education and preparation. 
Although yet a young man — or just because he is a young man — he occupies a 
position of importance in Decorah and Winneshiek county and again justifies 
the modern idea of the young man who proves his ability by the result he obtains 
along lines of a progressive policy. Not only is he foremost, however, in local 
newspaperdom but he has become a powerful factor in democratic politics, dem- 
onstrating his ability along that line in such a way that he not only plays a pre- 
eminent role in the district but even in the state. 

Born in Rochester, Minnesota, on March 20, 1884, he is a son of Ewald 
Elliott and Martha Christina (Christopher) Biermann, both of full-blooded 
Viking stock. The father was born in Christiania. Norway, on January 1, 1853, 
and was a son of Carl Henrik and Anne Mathea ( Olson) Biermann. The mother 
of Fred Biermann was born in Springfield township, Winneshiek county, Iowa, 
in 1854, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jens Christopher. The father was edu- 
cated at Nissen's school in Christiania and in 1870, with about fifty other young 
Norwegians, enlisted as a volunteer in the French army in the Franco-Prussian 
war. In the same year he came to America and a few years subsequent to that 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 149 

event became deputy county auditor of Olmsted county, Minnesota, under his 
brother Adolph. Subsequently he was, under his brother, deputy internal rev- 
enue collector during Cleveland's first administration and in 1890, when Adolph 
Biermann was elected state auditor — the first democrat ever elected to a state 
office in Minnesota — Ewald E. Biermann became his deputy. The father died 
in St. Paul on August 13, 1893. His wife was a student in the Decorah public 
schools and the University of Wisconsin. She preceded him in death, passing 
away in Decorah on September 1, 1889. 

When a boy of but five years Fred Biermann came from St. Paul to Decorah 
and found a second mother in his aunt, Mary Christopher, with whom he has 
ever since made his home. Mr. Biermann enjoyed the best educational advan- 
tages obtainable. He graduated from the Decorah high school in 1901, attended 
the University of Minnesota from 1901 to 1904, then entered Columbia Univer- 
sity of New York city, from which he graduated in 1905 with the degree of 
B. A., attended Valder Business College of Decorah during the winter of 1905- 
6 and studied law at Harvard University during 1907 and 1908. In August, 
1908, he entered the employ of Myers & Holmes, proprietors of The Decorah 
Journal, and one month later, on September 8, 1908, bought out the interest of 
Mr. Myers, continuing in partnership with Mr. Holmes until March 1, 191 1, 
when he bought out the latter and has since been sole proprietor of the Journal. 
The newspaper is a powerful instrument for good and progress in the com- 
munity, its editorials being clearly set forth and couched in such language as to 
leave no doubt in regard to the policy of the paper. The Journal is widely read 
and popular in Winneshiek county and as its circulation list grows its advertis- 
ing columns have increased, it now being considered one of the most valuable 
mediums of publicity by the commercial and mercantile fraternity of the section. 
The news columns of The Decorah Journal are carefully prepared and contain 
the important items of interest and it gives particular attention to local events 
and such occurrences as affect the advancement and development of the com- 
munitv. From every point of view it is an up-to-date paper, one of the best 
representing the country press in Iowa, loyal in its policy to the section and 
honest in its opinions. 

The political record of Mr. Biermann is most noteworthy for one of his 
years and foremost be it said that he is a democrat, and as he would express 
it himself, not a Bryan democrat or a progressive democrat or a conservative 
democrat, but just an ordinary, plain democrat. In 1908 Mr. Biermann aided 
in the organization of the Johnson Club of Harvard University to give support 
to the auspicious and conspicuously favoring pretensions of the governor of Min- 
nesota toward the democratic nomination for the presidency. Through the 
courtesy of George Fred Williams of Boston he went to the democratic state 
convention of Massachusetts in 1908, at Faneuil Hall, Boston, as proxy for the 
Fall River delegate. In the campaigns of 1908, 1910 and 1912 he took active 
part through the medium of his paper and in 1910 and 1912 was democratic 
county chairman. In the pre-convention campaign of 1912 he was fourth dis- 
trict manager for the Iowa Wilson League and attended the democratic national 
conventions of 1904, 1908, 1912 and the Iowa conventions of 1910 and 1912. 
To give an idea of the earnestness of his purpose it may be stated that in 1906 



150 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

lie drove twelve miles to Dog Tooth postoffice in North Dakota to vote for John 
Burke, then first elected governor of the state. In 1912 Mr. Biermann was 
also secretary of the Burlington convention. Although he does not carry mem- 
bership in any religious society or organization, he frequently attends the Meth- 
odist church. As member of the Decorah Norske Selskab he upholds the tradi- 
tions of the family and as member of the Harvard Iowa Club keeps alive the 
spirit of his alma mater. While at the University of Minnesota he was a 
member of the Scandinavian Literary Society and the University Liberal Club 
and at Harvard belonged to the Edda Club, the Choate Law Club and the Dem- 
ocratic Club. Fraternally he affiliates with the Masons, the Knights of Pythias 
and the Elks. Recognizing the era of prosperity that would set in over the 
great northwest, Mr. Biermann, in November. 1905, filed on a claim in southern 
Morton county. North Dakota, fifty miles from Mandan, that state, the nearest 
railroad point, and in May, 1906, took up his residence there with only one 
neighbor in sight and proved up his land in February, 1907. still holding title to 
his one hundred and sixty acres. Standing but on the threshold df his career, 
Fred Biermann has attained already such conspicuous success that great things 
may be expected of him, his contemporaries and fellowmen readily conceding 
that he is gifted with qualities of mind and character which will guide him to a 
distinguished position. His conspicuous and eminently resultant political activity 
has been recognized and rewarded by the present administration, for on the 2d 
of June, 1913. Mr. Biermann received from the president the appointment of 
postmaster of Decorah. taking over the office on June 16. There is no doubt 
that in the discharge of his new duties he will not only prove highly efficient but 
will find occasion to make many new friends. 



ERICK ANDERS* >N. 



The name of the late Erick Anderson is closely connected with the early 
pioneer history of Winneshiek county, for he came here in 1850 and for the 
remainder of his life was connected with mercantile and agricultural pursuits, 
while he also held official positions of prominence. His memory is still fresh 
with his many friends and his name will go down as one who did much toward 
promoting advancement and general development. A native of Norway, Erick 
Anderson was born on January 20. 1827, and in 1839 emigrated with his parents 
to America, their first landing being made in Boston. They proceeded by rail 
and water to New York and thence by the Hudson river to Albany, and via the 
Erie canal to Buffalo, where the)' embarked on board a steamer for Chicago, 
Illinois. That city was then but a small town and there they located, remaining 
until 1845, when they removed to McHenry county, Illinois, where Mr. Ander- 
son worked at various occupations. For the first four years he held the posi- 
tion of errand boy and then worked for one season as cabin boy on a steamer 
plying between Chicago and St. Joseph, Michigan. He was afterward employed 
in a newspaper office for two years and then entered a seminary at Beloit, Wis- 
consin, in order to improve his education, remaining there for one year. In 1847 
Mr. Anderson removed to Muskego. Wisconsin, where he found employment as 




ERICK ANDERSON 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 153 

a compositor in the office of the Nordlyset (Northern Light), the first Nor- 
wegian paper published in the northwest. Mr. Anderson had the distinction 
of setting the type for the first issue. In 1848 he went to Madison, Dane 
county. Wisconsin, where he was employed as a clerk in a general store, and 
in 1850 he and his party made their advent in Winneshiek county, where he 
entered land in the southern part of Springfield township. However, he did not 
engage at once in its cultivation but accepted a position as clerk in a general store 
at Frankville and remained there two years. He then made his way to Ossian, 
where he established himself independently in the general merchandising busi- 
ness, and was so engaged for four years, at the end of which time he moved to 
his land, where he made his home until 1861, when he was elected to the position 
of sheriff of Winneshiek county. That he discharged his duties to the satisfac- 
tion of his constituents is evident from the fact that in 1862 he was reelected. 
At the expiration of his term he again moved to his farm, which contained two 
hundred and sixty-five acres, to the cultivation of which he gave his sole at- 
tention, making valuable improvements and erecting substantial buildings. As the 
years passed by he attained prosperity and his property enjoyed the reputation 
of being one of the most valuable in its district. 

On November 6, 1851, Mr. Anderson was united in marriage to Miss Anna 
Holverson, who died about a year later. ( )f this union was born one daughter, 
Elizabeth A. Mr. Anderson was again married, the second union being with Miss 
Louisa Hanson, the ceremony taking place on July 15, 1856. Seven children 
were born of this union, Edgar, Albert, Henry, Lorenzo, William, Oscar, and 
Louisa. Mrs. Louisa Anderson passed away May 16, 1876, and on October 8, 
1877, Mr. Anderson married Mrs. Mary (Opdahl) Thompson, by whom he had 
one son, C. Melvin. who now operates the home farm of one hundred and ninety- 
two acres on section ii, Springfield township. Mrs. Mary Anderson is a daughter 
of Knud and Marit ( Iveson ) Opdahl, natives of Norway. They came to Winne- 
shiek county in the early period of its history, the father engaging in agricultural 
pursuits for the remainder of his life upon the farm which Mrs. Anderson still 
owns. The father died at the age of sixty-nine years in March, 1875, his wife 
surviving until December 18, 1882. 

Erick Anderson passed away on June 23, 1906, after an illness which lasted 
three months, having attained the age of seventy-nine years, five months and three 
days. Being one of the early pioneers of the county and a man active in its 
development, he enjoyed the good-will and confidence of all who knew him and 
his passing caused deep and widespread regret. Many of the older settlers still 
retain his memory, which they hold in veneration as that of a man who by 
his own efforts attained success — one who was as considerate of the interests 
of others as of his own promotion. Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Ander- 
son always gave his support to worthy public enterprises and could ever be found 
in the front ranks of those who had at heart the public welfare. His son C. 
Melvin, who now operates the home farm, worthily follows in the footsteps of 
his father and has become recognized as one of the most progressive agriculturists 
of his section. He was married to Miss Josephine Thulin, of Burlington, Iowa, 
on December 28, 1909, she being a daughter of C. J. and Hannah (Larson) 
Thulin, natives of Sweden. Mr. Anderson is also a stockholder in the Nordness 
Creamerv Company. He is prominent fraternally, being a member of the Inde- 



154 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

pendent Order of Odd Fellows, and in politics supports the democratic party. 
His religious faith is that of the Methodist church. He received an excellent 
education, being a graduate of the Decorah high school with the class of 1900 and 
from Purdue University in 1904 as" mechanical engineer. He has ever remained 
a student of life and conditions, being also a discriminate reader. He takes 
loving care of his mother, who is now seventy-six years of age, and enjoys the 
respect and confidence of all with whom he comes in contact. 



RICHARD E. BUCKNELL. 

Although Richard E. Bucknell is but twenty-one years of age he occupies 
the important position of assistant cashier of the Citizens Savings Bank. A 
native son of Decorah, Iowa, he was born October 5, 1891, his parents being 
Richard and Rose (Rima) Bucknell, natives of Iowa. The father conducts a 
prosperous barber shop in Decorah, having come to this city at an early day, 
since which time he has been identified with its business interests. 

Richard E. Bucknell attended the public schools of Decorah in the acquire- 
ment of his education and he complemented his course by attending Valder Busi- 
ness College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1908. Launching 
out upon his business career he accepted a position of stenographer with the 
Citizens Savings Bank, which he held for a year and a half. He then was pro- 
moted to bookkeeper, serving in that capacity until January 1, 1913, when he 
became assistant cashier, his ability and conscientious work being greatly appre- 
ciated by his superior officers. 

Mr. Bucknell makes his home with his parents on West Water street, where 
the family home has been located for many years. Fraternally he is a member 
of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Elks. Upon attaining his majority 
he affiliated with the republican party, being most attracted to that organization 
which is dominated by Lincoln's spirit. Capable, earnest and conscientious in 
the performance of his duties, it may safely be prophesied for Mr. Bucknell that 
a successful career will follow his auspicious beginning in the business world. 



ELLIS J. HOOK. 



There is much that is remarkable in the life record of Ellis J. Hook who 
since 1 91 2 has been a representative of the legal profession in Decorah as a mem- 
ber of the firm of Boice & Hook. For many years he was successful as a school 
teacher and for over nine years served efficiently as superintendent of the 
Winneshiek county schools, doing valuable work in promoting the cause of edu- 
cation in this county. His work along that line can hardly be overestimated and 
it must be readily conceded that thereby he has done as much as any other one 
individual to promote advancement along intellectual and moral lines. 

Born in Tazewell county. Illinois, on December 5, 1870, Mr. Hook is a son 
of George W. and Catherine (Manker) Hook, the former a native of Highland 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 155 

county, Ohio, of Irish and English descent, and the latter born near Hillsboro, 
Ohio, of German, English and Welsh ancestry. The parents were married in 
Ohio and went to Illinois in 1855, but later returned to the Buckeye state where 
Mr. Hook enlisted for service in the Civil war as a member of Company D, 
Eleventh Ohio Cavalry, remaining with that command for three years and six 
months or until the close of the war, when he returned to Ohio and took his 
family to Tazewell county, Illinois, in the spring of 1866. There he successfully 
followed agricultural pursuits until 1892, when removal was made to Grundy 
county, Iowa, where he remained in the pursuit of his occupation until 1907, 
removing in that year to Grundy Center, Iowa. In that city his wife passed 
away on October 3, 1912, but Mr. Hook is still living, being venerated and hon- 
ored by all who knbw him. In their family were eleven children of whom seven 
are living, as follows: Charles V., a carpenter of Bowman, North Dakota; Luella, 
the wife of W. E. Kerr, a farmer of Cohasset, Minnesota; John W., engaged 
in agricultural pursuits at Grundy Center, Iowa ; Jennie, who married J. M. 
Ireland, a farmer residing near Oskaloosa, Iowa; Ellis J., of this review; Roy E., 
engaged in farming at Grand Meadow, Minnesota; and Sanford L., an employe 
of the Iowa Telephone Company of Des Moines, Iowa. 

Ellis J. Hook attended public school in Tazewell county, Illinois, graduating 
from the Hopedale high school in 1890. Making good use of his educational 
opportunities he made himself master of what was taught him and in the fall of 
1890 engaged in teaching, being so occupied in Illinois for two years. Making 
removal with his family to Grundy county, Iowa, in 1892, he there taught for 
one year and then came to Decorah with the intention of augmenting his knowl- 
edge. Entering the Decorah Insitute he graduated therefrom in the fall of 1894 
but did not sever his connection at once, remaining for two years as teacher of 
the commercial department of that school. He then retrned to Grundy county 
where he again taught for one year, removing from there to Fort Atkinson, 
Winneshiek county, in the fall of 1896, becoming principal of the public schools 
of that city. Mr. Hook then returned to Decorah as principal of the fifth ward 
school on the west side and taught in this city until the fall of 1899, when he 
resigned in order to enter upon the duties as county superintendent of schools. 
His wide and varied experience and his excellent preparation for the profession 
well fitted him for this position, and his service was of such conspicuous 
benefit to the cause of education in the county that he was twice reelected, 
serving in all for nine years and three months in this most important office. Mr. 
Hook then accepted a position as traveling salesman for a Chicago supply house 
but after only eight months discontinued this connection to enter at last the pro- 
fession in which he has already established a fair reputation. He entered the 
law office of Clayton S. Boice in Decorah in the fall of 1909 but after one year 
of preliminary office work and study matriculated in the College of Law at 
Iowa City, graduating in June, 1912. He then became a member of the firm 
of Boice & Hook and was admitted to general practice by the Iowa state supreme 
court in 1912. A deep student of human nature, he has come in contact with 
many different characters as an educator and makes use of this experience as 
lawyer, and has quickly become recognized as one of the progressive and rising 
attorneys of the county. While advancement at the bar is proverbially slow no 
dreary novitiate awaited him as he soon demonstrated his ability. He handles the 



156 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

most intricate and important law problems with skill and ability, and although but 
a year in the profession, his practice is extensive and of an important character. 
"In all this world the thing supremely worth having is the opportunity, coupled 
with the capacity, to do well and worthily a piece of work, the doing of which 
shall be of vital significance to mankind.'" This maxim seems to have moved 
Mr. Hook when as educator he tried to the best of his ability to instruct youth 
and it accompanies him on his legal career and no doubt will guide him to a 
position where he will accomplish significant work. 

In 1898 Mr. Hook was married to Miss Minnie M. Reed, a daughter of 
Daniel A. and Mary L. Reed, of Decorah. The parents were pioneer settlers in 
this part of the state and here the father died January 24, 1911. The mother 
is living in Decorah, and is the oldest resident of Winneshiek county. 

Mr. Hook supports the republican party, keeping well informed upon the 
issues affecting the public. Fraternally he is a member of Winneshiek Lodge, 
No. 58, I. O. O. F., of Decorah. and also of the Knights of Pythias lodge. He 
was one of the organizers and is still a stockholder and a director of the State 
Bank of Decorah. For ten years he was a prominent member of the Iowa 
State Teachers Association and in that connection did much to stimulate the 
interest of its members in their vocation. 



WILLIAM DRESSELHAUS. 

William Dresselhaus needs no introduction to the readers of a history of 
Winneshiek county, for he is a representative of one of the oldest families in this 
section of the state and his name has been well known and honored here since 
pioneer times. He himself is well worthy of the honor and esteem in which it is 
held, for his record has only added to its luster, he standing today among the most 
representative and able agriculturists and most progressive and public-spirited 
citizens of his native township. He owns a fine farm of two hundred and thir- 
teen acres on section 35 and in its cultivation has met with that success which 
always rewards earnest and persistent labor. 

William Dresselhaus was born in Pleasant township, Winneshiek county, 
August 26, 1865. and is a son of Bernhard and Diedrike (Albers) Dresselhaus, 
natives of Germany. The father was born at Schale, province of Westphalia, 
on the 6th of January, 1837, and spent his earl}- childhood in his native country. 
When he was sixteen years of age he came to America and lived for a number 
of years in the vicinity of Chicago. Illinois. In the year 1859 he moved to 
Pleasant township and turned his attention to farming, developing from a raw 
tract of land which he acquired in pioneer times a fine homestead of one hundred 
and sixty acres, which he continued to improve and operate until his death. He 
owned also another tract of eighty acres. In 1873 he joined the German Meth- 
odist Episcopal church, of which he was a faithful member until his death. He 
was one of the first members of the congregation in Canoe township and took an 
active part in its organization, serving for many years as a faithful trustee. He 
gave stanch allegiance to the republican party, taking an active part in public 
affairs and becoming a loyal and public-spirited citizen. He died at the home of 



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PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 159 

his son in Canoe township, November 12, 1910, at the age of seventy-three, hav- 
ing survived his wife since 1904. In their family were three children. Amelia 
is the wife of Louis Bender, of Decorah. Emma was born April 21, 1863. and 
became the wife of Henry Graham. She died October 18, 1903, leaving two 
daughters. The third and youngest member of this family is the subject of this 
review. 

William Dresselhaus grew to manhood upon his father's farm in Pleasant 
township, becoming at an early age a prosperous and progressive agriculturist. 
He continued to reside in Pleasant township until i<)04, when he moved to his 
present farm on section 35, Canoe township, whereon he has since resided. He 
owns two hundred and thirteen acres of fine land and upon it engages in general 
farming and stock-raising, both branches of his activities proving under his able 
management profitable and important. The homestead is well improved, Mr. 
Dresselhaus having erected a fine modern home, good barns and outbuildings, 
and having installed the necessary labor-saving machinery. It is one of the finest 
properties in this part of the state and reflects everywhere the constant and care- 
ful supervision of its owner. 

In 1888 Mr. Dresselhaus was united in marriage to Miss Emma Ida Deters, 
who was born in Allamakee county, on the 26th of January, 1867, a daughter of 
Bernard Henry and Anna Maria (Bucholtz) Deters, the former a native of Ger- 
many, born in Schale, February 2, 1830. At the age of twenty-one he came to 
America, landing after several weeks' voyage at New Orleans, whence he boarded 
a steamboat and sailed up the Mississippi to St. Louis and from there up the Illi- 
nois river to La Salle, where he was transferred to a canal boat and landed in 
Chicago on June 9, 185 1. At the time of his arrival his earthly possessions 
amounted to just seven dollars, but he soon procured work with his brother-in- 
law, Henry Franzen, at Addison, Illinois, where he labored for the greater part 
of the time in an oil mill until the fall of 1855. Two years previously he had 
purchased some government land in Union City township, Allamakee county, 
Iowa, and in 1855 he established a home on this farm, marrying in that year Miss 
Anna Maria Bucholtz, who was born in Chicago, October 5, 1836. The journey 
into Iowa was made under hard conditions. As far as Dubuque they traveled 
by rail but from there they were obliged to make their way to their new home in 
a wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen. On the 20th of October they reached the 
farm, which was entirely unimproved, and the father set to work felling trees 
and erecting a log cabin. During the first six weeks he and his wife made their 
home in an old forsaken log hut without floor, windows or doors, and cut hazel 
brush served as their bed. In the beginning of December they moved into the 
log cabin which Mr. Deters and Mr. Gerling had erected on Mr. Gerling's premises 
and here the two families lived for one and a half years, cooking upon one stove, 
which had to serve for this and for heating purposes. Deer and other wild game 
furnished their principal rations for the first winter. In the spring of 1856 they 
set about breaking the virgin soil and it was soon evident that it was rich in pro- 
ductiveness. The two families remained together until the following year, when 
Mr. Deters erected a log cabin upon his own premises, and upon that property 
continued to reside until their deaths. Success steadily rewarded their well 
directed labors, Mr. Deters becoming finally one of the most prosperous and suc- 
cessful farmers in the section to which he came as a pioneer. He acquired exten- 



160 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

sive landed holdings and continued active in the management of his property until 
1897, when he turned over the homestead to his son Louis and retired, living 
thus until his death, which occurred in 1911. He and his wife were imbued with 
a religious zeal and this manifested itself in active cooperation with religious 
work in Winneshiek county. In the early days, when a few other German fam- 
ilies had settled in the community, religious services were held alternately in the 
various homes until i860, when Air. Deters was instrumental in organizing the 
German Evangelical congregation at Eitzen. He was a stanch supporter of the 
republican party and he took an active interest in everything relating to com- 
munity growth and upbuilding, although he never sought public office for himself. 
Mr. and .Mrs. Dresselhaus became the parents of five children: Lilly, who was 
born September 20, 1889; Luella, born March 23, 1891 ; Eddie, whose birth 
occurred January 26, 1893; Willard, born November 11, 1899; and Elmer, born 
October 31, [902. Mr. Dresselhaus is a devout member of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church and guides his honorable and upright life by its doctrines. A stanch 
republican, he has supported the principles of this party since casting his first 
vote and has been always more or less active in public life in his native section, 
being now in the third term of his able service as township trustee. He is a man 
loyal in citizenship, reliable in business, at all times public-spirited and progressive 
and his life measures up to the full standard of honorable manhood, his record 
being a credit to a name that has been known and honored in this part of Iowa 
since pioneer times. 



JAMES O. GROVES. 



A native son of Decorah, James O. Groves, as owner of the Decorah Drug 
Company, has attained a success of which he may well be proud and is con- 
ducting a business which is a credit to himself and to the community. Born 
in Decorah in June, 1877, in the house in which he now lives, James O. Groves 
is a son of Andrew and Juliette (Christopher) Groves, natives of Norway, both 
of whom came to this country in their childhood with their respective parents. 
The father, after having reached manhood, engaged in the implement business 
in Decorah and conducted an establishment of this kind for several years. He 
eventually sold out and became connected with life insurance, being so engaged 
until his death, which occurred in 1908. The mother survived until November, 
191 1. The former also has a distinguished military record to his credit, having 
enlisted at Decorah, in the Twelfth Iowa Infantry, for service in the Civil war. 
He participated in a number of the more important battles and skirmishes and 
was captured at Pittsburg Landing, being held prisoner for some time before he 
was exchanged, when he came home. Brave and courageous, he always could 
be found in the front ranks of those fighting for the unity of their country and 
during the campaign so impaired his health that he ever after was a sufferer 
from the hardship which he had endured. 

James O. Groves was reared under the parental roof, being grounded by 
his parents in the virtues of industry and honesty and educated in the city 
schools until he entered the School of Pharmacy of Northwestern University 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 161 

at Chicago, in order to prepare himself for a career as druggist, graduating 
from that institution with the class of 1901. Returning to Decorah, he worked 
in a local drug store for six months and then proceeded to Kansas, where he 
was connected with his line of business for three years, at the end of that 
period removing to Minnesota, where for a year and a half he acted as manager 
of a similar establishment. Returning to Decorah, he then worked in the drug 
store of R. A. Engbertson for six years and, having accumulated by thrift and 
industry the means, then bought the Decorah Drug Company, which he has 
since conducted with ever increasing success. Well prepared theoretically and 
practically, he gives particular attention to his prescription department, which 
he safeguarded in such a way that mistakes are practically impossible. All the 
medicines and drugs on hand are of the best kind and strictly fresh and Mr. 
Groves also has installed in his store a well selected line of sundries such as 
are usually carried in an establishment of this kind. The store is well kept, 
clean, modern and of such an attractive and inviting appearance that it is a 
distinct advantage to the city, and while Mr. Groves is attaining personal pros- 
perity, he contributes by means of his establishment to the expansion of the 
commercial life of Decorah. 

In September, 1905, Mr. Groves was united in marriage to Miss Harriet 
Ryan, a daughter of Joseph and Clara (Lapham) Ryan, natives of Indiana 
and New York respectively, who now reside in Clay Center, Kansas, where 
the father is engaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Groves have three children : 
Elizabeth, aged six years ; Leonore, aged three ; and Donald, aged two. 

The religious faith of the family is that of the Methodist church and Mr. 
and Mrs. Groves give their earnest support to its work. Mr. Groves owns a 
handsome residence at No. 509 Jefferson street, where both he and his wife 
are often the center of pleasant circles of friends who like to gather at their 
hospitable fireside. Politically Mr. Groves is a progressive, his sympathies 
being in accord with the ideals of this new party, for the realization of which 
he incessantly works, although he is not a politician in the everyday sense of 
the word. An aggressive young man of modern tendencies, he has attained 
a success remarkable for one of his years and has become one of the important 
factors in the commercial life of Decorah, where he is highly respected and 
esteemed by all for the position which he has reached and his qualities of mind 
and character which have made possible his success. 



P. J. BIDNE. 



One of the successful and growing business enterprises of Winneshiek county 
is the Highlandville Creamery, of which P. J. Bidne is half owner and operator, 
in which connection he has built up a satisfactory business that returns to him 
a gratifying annual income. He is one of the county's native sons, his birth 
having occurred in Highland township, September 17, 1871, his parents being 
John and Susie (Opheim) Peterson, natives of Norway. The former was an 
early settler of Highland township and after working here for a few years he 
returned and brought the lady who later became his wife to the new world. 



162 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

They were married in Winneshiek county, and his remaining days were spent 
upon his farm in Highland township, his death occurring in 1882, when he was 
sixty vears of age. Mrs. Peterson still resides with her son on the old home 
farm a half mile east of Highlandville. By a former marriage she had one 
child, Kate, now the wife of Peter S. Bidne, of Pleasant township. The nine 
children born unto Air. and Mrs. John Peterson are: Louisa, the wife of Mons 
Askelson, of Highland township; Peter, who died in childhood; P. J., of this 
review; Ole, on the old home farm; her, who died in 1901, when about twenty 
years of age; Mary, the wife of Lars K. Bjorgo, of Highland township; Julia, 
of Chicago ; Josie, at home ; and Mary, who died in childhood. 

P. J. Bidne was reared under the parental roof and continued upon his 
father's farm until [889, when lie secured a position in the Highlandville 
Creamery. He was thus employed for five years, on the expiration of which 
period he joined L. K. Bjorgo and M. J. Akre in purchasing the creamery. 
Subsequently Mr. Bjorgo sold his interest to his partners, who have since 
remained together in the business, owning an equal interest. Air. Bidne is the 
butter maker, and the product of the creamery in butter amounts to one hun- 
dred and sixty thousand pounds annually, all of which is shipped to Chicago, 
where it commands the highest market prices owing to its excellence. They 
work for quality and not quantity and theirs is a model creamery, conducted in 
the most cleanly and sanitary way and according to the most improved modern 
processes, so that the products thereof find a ready sale. Air. Bidne devotes 
his entire attention to the creamer)- business and is a busy, energetic and enter- 
prising man. 

In June, 1898. was celebrated the marriage of Air. Bidne and Aliss Anna 
Akre, who was born in Pleasant township in 1875, a daughter of John and 
Martha Akre. In politics Air. Bidne is a republican but has never been an 
office seeker. For three years he was school treasurer of the independent 
district and he is a member of the Big Canoe Lutheran church of Pleasant 
township. His life is guided by straightforward, honorable principles and his 
record as a business man and citizen commends him to the warm regard and 
unqualified confidence of those with whom he is associated. 



THOMAS ENGBRETSON. 

Thomas Engbretson, living retired in Madison township, making his home 
with his cousin, Ole O. Hove, is known as one of the early settlers in this 
vicinity and has long been numbered among its most progressive and repre- 
sentative citizens. He was born in Norway, October 20. 1843, and is a son of 
Engbret and Gro Thorson, also natives of that country, the parents never having 
come to America. 

Thomas Engbretson crossed the Atlantic with the Hove family in 1866 
and settled in Winneshiek county in June of that year. For a time he worked 
as a farm hand and then turned his attention to hauling cream, following that 
occupation for twenty-three years thereafter and becoming known as a reliable. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 163 

enterprising and progressive business man. Eventually he retired from active 
life and has since made his home with his cousin, Ole O. Hove. 

Mr. Engbretson gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is 
a member of the Lutheran church. Since pioneer times he has been an hon- 
ored and respected resident of this locality and the rest which he is now enjoy- 
ing rewards many years of active and honorable labor. 



CLARENCE CHRISTEN. 

For ten years Clarence Christen has been engaged in the real-estate business 
in Decorah and along this line has not only attained individual prosperity but 
has become an important factor in the development of the city. Born in 
Madison, Wisconsin, January 19, 1855, he is a son of Swen and Signe Christen, 
natives of Norway, the mother being born on the 10th of June, 1823. In 1852 
the father decided to exchange the meager existence his native country afforded 
for the opportunities of the new world and came to America, locating near 
Madison, Wisconsin. The mother left her native land about the same time 
and they were married in that city. In 1855 they came to Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, locating in Madison township, where Mr. Christen bought land, and as 
he prospered he increased his holdings until he held title to several hundred 
acres. He later removed to Bluffton township, this county, where he was en- 
gaged in farming until his death. Mrs. Christen survived him for several 
years, passing away in the same place. He was highly esteemed in his locality 
and for a number of terms served efficiently as county commissioner. 

Clarence Christen was educated in the public schools of Decorah and made 
his home with his parents until he was married, when he removed to Mankato. 
Minnesota, where he found employment as an engineer for the Peavey Grain 
Company. He remained with that firm for two years and then returned to 
Winneshiek county, engaging in the cultivation of one hundred acres in Bluffton 
township. Later he purchased the old home place of one hundred and sixty 
acres, remaining for about five years actively engaged in the cultivation of the 
farm, and then rented the place in order to remove to Decorah, where he engaged 
in the merchandise business. In 1889 he was appointed steward of the poor 
house and insane asylum, discharging his duties in such a manner as to receive 
general approbation. In 1893 ne was elected sheriff of Winneshiek county and 
served in that important position for eight years, being reelected to the office. 
His record in that office was one of benefit to the county and of credit to him- 
self. In 1902 in partnership with his brother Albert he embarked in the real- 
estate business and is still thus engaged. His knowledge of land values is 
extensive and he is considered one of the best judges of real estate in the 
city and county, handling important transfers and receiving a gratifying income 
from his business. 

In 1882 Mr. Christen was married to Miss Elizabeth Walton, a daughter of 
Joseph and Harriett Walton, natives of England. The father was born on 
January. 1, 1830, and died in 1913 on the anniversary of the day of his birth. 
He was married in the motherland and came to the United States in 1852, 



164 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

locating in Winneshiek county, of which he became an early settler. Here 
he purchased land and successfully followed agricultural pursuits until about 
twenty years ago, when he retired from active work and removed to Cresco, 
which city he made his home until his demise. His wife is still living in 
Cresco, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Christen have the following children: Josie, a 
bookkeeper in the Winneshiek County State Bank of Decorah ; Lottie, a clerk 
in a dry-goods store of this city ; Myrtle, at home ; and Lloyd, deputy county 
treasurer of Winneshiek county. 

Mr. Christen gives his support to the republican party, the platform and 
principles of which appeal to him as conducive to the best form of government. 
He has held various township offices, having discharged his duties in an able 
and efficient manner, and at present is one of the inheritance tax appraisers. 
Mr. Christen is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church of Decorah while 
his wife and family are members of the Congregational church. His only 
fraternal connection is with Decorah Lodge, No. 443, B. P. O. E. Although 
there are no spectacular phases in his life record it stands as evidence of what 
can be accomplished when industry and energy lead the way. Beginning with 
no particular advantages, he has attained a substantial position in his city and 
is considered one of the moving forces in bringing Decorah to the front and 
promoting its importance as one of the thriving cities of the state. 



C. L. TOPLIFF, D. D. S. 

Dr. C. L. Topliff, who has been successfully engaged in the practice of den- 
tistry at Decorah for the past twenty-three years, has built up and enjoys an 
extensive and well deserved patronage in this connection. His birth occurred 
at Waukon, Allamakee county, Iowa, on the 28th of December, 1862, his parents 
being John and Rachel (Reed) Topliff, who are natives of New Jersey and 
( Ihio respectively. The father took up his abode in this part of the state when 
it was an Indian reservation, settling in Allamakee county in 1S54. Eventually 
he purchased and improved a farm lying in Winneshiek and Allamakee counties 
and continued its operation successfully until 1891, when he disposed of the 
property and took up his abode in Decorah, where he is now living retired. His 
wife is also living and they make their home on Washington street, Decorah. 
John Topliff lias been a resident of this part of the state for almost six decades 
and has witnessed the growth and development of the region from pioneer times 
down to the present. 

C. L. Topliff obtained his early education in the district schools of Win- 
neshiek county and subsequently attended the high school at Postville, Allamakee 
county. After putting aside his text-books he assisted his father in the work of 
the home farm until he had attained his majority and then came to Decorah, 
here beginning the study of dentistry in the office of Dr. Kellogg. At the end 
of a year he entered the Philadelphia Dental College, being graduated from that 
institution in the spring of 1888. Returning to his native state, he began the 
practice of dentistry at Postville but after two years came back to Decorah, which 
Hty has since remained the scene of his professional labors. During the entire 




I)K. C. I.. TOI'LIFF 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 167 

period, covering twenty-three years, he has maintained a handsomely equipped 
office in the Ben Bear building. The extensive practice accorded him is the best 
evidence of his skill and ability in the line of his chosen profession. 

In June, 1886, Dr Topliff was united in marriage to Miss Ida M. Tillotson, a 
daughter of Charles and Carrie (Beers) Tillotson. The father, who came to 
Winneshiek county in an early day. here followed farming for a number of years 
but was living retired at the time of his demise, which occurred in Decorah. 
The mother is likewise deceased. Dr. and Mrs. Topliff have three children, 
namely: Myrtle E., who is twenty-four years of age and the wife of John B. 
Gardner; Alta G., twenty-one years old, who resides at home; and Lyle R., who 
is nine years of age. The family reside in a handsome home at No. 601 Center 
avenue. 

In politics Dr. Topliff is a republican, exercising his right of franchise in sup- 
port of the men and measures of that party. On August 1, 1913, he was appointed 
by Governor Clark as one of five members of the state board of dental examiners, 
who examine all dentists who wish to practice in the state of Iowa, this appoint- 
ment emphasizing his standing in the profession. Both he and his wife were 
affiliated with the Unity church until the organization disbanded. He is a prom- 
inent member of the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and 
has served as deputy district grand master of this district, while in the present 
year he acts as district deputy grand patriarch. He is likewise chairman of the 
mileage and per diem committee of the grand lodge of Iowa and a member of the 
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America. 
A man of genial, cordial nature, he has gained the good-will and friendship 
of all with whom he has been associated in professional, fraternal and social 
relations. 



ANDREW T. BOE. 



Andrew T. Boe, an active and progressive young farmer of Madison town- 
ship, owning and operating one hundred acres of land on section 32, is a native 
son of Winneshiek county, born in Military township, July 3, 1883. He is a 
son of Thore and Mary (Loken) Boe, natives of Norway, the former of whom 
came to America and located in Rock Island, Illinois, where he remained for 
two years. At the end of that time he removed to Winneshiek county, and a 
short time afterward purchased a farm in Military township, which he cleared, 
improved and operated until 1901, when he retired from active life and removed 
to Decorah, where he remained for two years. He then returned to the farm 
and died upon his holdings, September 17, 191 1. His wife survives him and 
resides upon the homestead. 

Andrew T. Boe was reared and educated in Military township, acquiring 
his early education in the district schools and later attended Breckenridge Insti- 
tute in Decorah. While still a student in the latter institution he worked for 
B. Anundsen in the plant of the Decorah Posten, where he remained for five 
summers, attending school during the winter months. After completing his 
education he worked as a farm hand for two years and then rented his father's 

VoL n— 8 



168 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

farm, remaining upon it for a similar period of time. Upon its expiration he 
bought one hundred acres on section 32, Madison township, and upon this he 
has since resided. He has cleared twenty acres of this place and has made 
some substantial improvements, the farm reflecting everywhere his careful super- 
vision and practical methods in its cultivation. 

In June, 1906, Mr. Boe was united in marriage to Miss Randina Neste, a 
daughter of Peter K. and Sarah ( Thorgeson ) Neste, of whom further mention 
is made elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Boe have two children: Palmer 
T., aged five, and Myrtle S. R., aged four. Mr. Boe is a member of the Lutheran 
church and is a republican in his political views, cooperating heartily in measures 
and projects to promote the permanent interests of the community. His entire 
life has been spent in this township and he has an extensive acquaintance within 
its borders, being recognized as a young man of energy and ability whose con- 
tinued advancement is assured. 



TOLLEF THRONDSON. 

In the sudden death of Tollef Throndson, which occurred June 3, 1898, 
Madison township lost one of its most honored and respected citizens, a man 
who had ever been deeply interested in the welfare of the community in which 
he had so long lived and labored. Mr. Throndson was born in Norway, October 
24, 1835, a son of Thrond and Engri (Peterson) Throndson, who were likewise 
natives of that country. The father followed farming throughout his entire 
life and lived and died in the land of his nativity. 

Tollef Throndson was reared and educated in his native land and remained 
there until he attained his majority, when, believing that opportunities awaited 
him in America, which he could not enjoy in Norway, he came to the new 
world. His destination was Wisconsin but he remained there for only a short 
time and subsequently came to Winneshiek county. He began life in the new 
world in a humble manner, working out for several years at farm labor. He 
lived economically in the hope of saving sufficient money to permit him some 
day to become the owner of land, and his hopes were realized, when, in 1880, 
he became the possessor of one hundred and sixty acres. He later added to 
this a tract of forty acres, making two hundred acres, located on section 36, Madi- 
son township. He improved the place with substantial buildings, made a close 
study of the soil, planting crops best adapted to it, and each year he gathered 
rich harvests as a reward for the labor he bestowed upon the fields. He died 
very suddenly of heart failure, June 3, 1898, having led an active life up to 
that time. 

It was in August, 1880. that Mr. Throndson was married to Mrs. Ragnild 
(Week) Olson, a daughter of Toster and Segriel (Guttonuson) Week. Mrs. 
Throndson was born in Norway, in January, 1848, and accompanied her parents 
on their emigration to America in 1866, the family home being established in 
Winneshiek county. The father was well advanced in years at the time of his 
emigration to this country, so that he practically lived retired in Iowa. His 
death occurred in 1894, but the mother lived only a few years after coming to 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 169 

this country, her death occurring in 1874. Mrs. Throndson was first married 
to Even Olson, in 1874, and became the mother of two sons: Otto, who died 
in infancy ; and Even, who makes his home in Decorah. Mr. Olson died De- 
cember 21, 1875. By her second marriage Mrs. Throndson became the mother 
of six children, namely: Engrie, the wife of Matt Dotseth, a farmer of Minne- 
sota; Sena, who died in infancy; Theodore, at home; Alex, who died in infancy; 
Alex, the second of the name, who is still with his mother ; and Stella, who is 
engaged in teaching school. Mrs. Throndson is a capable business woman, and 
with the assistance of her two sons has managed the farm since her husband's 
death. She has made many improvements and among other things has erected 
a substantial and modern home. 

In politics Air. Throndson was a republican, and his religious faith was that 
of the Lutheran church. He was devoted to his home and his family and was 
ever deeply interested in their comfort and welfare. He was likewise deeply 
interested in the best interests of his community, so that at his death he was not 
only mourned by those nearest to him but by many friends and acquaintances, 
who had come to respect him for his sterling traits of character. 



OLE I. LINDE. 



For about twenty years Ole J. Linde has made his home on a valuable farm 
of one hundred and ten acres in Lincoln township, to the cultivation of which 
he has ever since given his sole attention. His labors have been productive 
and today his place is considered one of the best improved and most valuable 
of the district. He was born in Boone county, Illinois, on the 9th of February, 
1863, and is a son of John O. and Martha (Brenno) Linde, natives of Norway, 
who came to America about i860, locating in Illinois. The father farmed in 
that state for about three years and then removed to Winneshiek county, settling 
in Sumner township. After a successful agricultural career the parents live 
now retired at Ridgeway. To them were born seven children: Hattie, deceased; 
Ole J., of this review ; Iver, of Sumner township ; John, who makes his home 
in North Dakota; Edward, deceased; Edward, of North Dakota; and Henry, 
of the same state. 

Ole J. Linde removed with his parents from Illinois to this county, where 
he attended school and subsequently assisted his father with the work on the 
home farm, early becoming acquainted with thorough methods of agriculture. 
He remained so occupied until twenty-seven years of age, when he was enabled 
to buy sixty acres in Sumner township, which he cultivated for two years and 
then sold. He then came to Lincoln township and in March, 1892, bought one 
hundred and ten acres, to the cultivation of which he has ever since given his 
whole time. His place gives evidence of the years of his labor and is today one 
of the finest in the district. He engages in general farming and stock-raising 
and also makes a specialty of threshing, having an outfit for which he finds 
employment on the neighboring farms. His farm buildings are kept well in 
repair and he has installed modern equipment in order to facilitate the labor and 
increase the yield of his fields. 



170 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

On December 7, 1880. Mr. Linde was united in marriage to Miss Emily 
Hopperstad and to them were born five children: Julius E., of Calmar, who 
is cashier of the savings bank there ; Aletta, who married Lawrence Hove, of 
Madison township; Hattie M.. at home; Orin E. ; and Andy Oliver. 

Mr. Linde is a republican in his political affiliations and for some time did 
service as township clerk, filling that office with circumspection and ability. 
His religious affiliation is with the Lutheran church. He is public-spirited and 
progressive and much interested in the welfare of his locality, having con- 
tributed to the general growth in developing an excellent farm property. 



NELS N. BERGAN. 



One of the model and well improved farms in Madison township, Winneshiek 
county, is owned and operated by Nels N. Bergan, his place comprising two hun- 
dred and seventy acres, located on section 32. He is a native of Wisconsin, born 
Tuly 5, 1853, a son of Ole and Isabelle Bergan, both of whom were natives of 
Norway, and upon emigrating to the new world in 1842, located in Wisconsin. 
The father soon afterward went to Chicago, where he spent a brief period, and 
then located in Racine county, twenty miles south of Milwaukee, purchasing a 
farm in Muskego township. For nine years he gave his time and attention to the 
clearing and improvement of that farm, and on disposing of the place he came 
to Winneshiek county, the date of his arrival here being June 8, 1855. He pur- 
chased a farm in Madison township and was engaged in farming here until the 
time of his death, which occurred in May, 1892, when he had reached the age 
of seventy-two years. The mother survived for a few years, passing away in 
January. 1900, when she had reached the advanced age of eighty-nine years. 

Nels N. Bergan was reared on the home farm and was educated in the district 
schools near his home. In 1883 the father divided his land among his children 
and Nels N. Bergan came into possession of his present farm, comprising two 
hundred and seventy acres, situated on section 32, Madison township. To the 
cultivation and improvement of this place he has since given his time and atten- 
tion. He has made his fields very fertile through the cultivation of crops best 
adapted to the soil, while he has erected good and substantial buildings, which 
he always keeps in the best of repair. In addition to this land Mr. Bergan 
likewise owns land in South Dakota. He makes a specialty of Scotch short- 
horn cattle and Poland China hogs and this branch of his business adds not a 
little to his annual income. 

Mr. Bergan established a home of his own in November, 1889, by his mar- 
riage to Miss Louisa Crawford, a daughter of Henry and Marjorie (Mcintosh) 
Crawford, the former of Irish descent, while the latter comes of Scotch ancestry. 
The father was engaged in farming in Madison township throughout his entire 
business career and became one of the county's substantial citizens. Unto Mr. 
and Mrs. Bergan were born two children but both are now deceased, one having 
died in infancy, while Emma departed this life April 15, 1908. The wife and 
mother passed away in May, 1892, and Mr. Bergan was married a second time, 
this union being with Lena Larson, whom he wedded in November, 1893. Her 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 171 

parents, Lars and Carrie Larson, both natives of Norway, emigrated to America 
in an early day, locating in Winneshiek county, where the father engaged in 
farming throughout his entire business career. 

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bergan has been blessed with seven children : 
Ole, now nineteen years of age; Lillian, who passed away March 2, 1908; Carl, 
who is a youth of fourteen; Ina, who has departed this life; Ina, the second 
of the name, who is ten years old ; and Francis and Lloyd, aged respectively 
seven and five years. 

Mr. Bergan gives his political support to the republican party and for seven 
years has filled the office of township trustee. He is a stockholder in the Farmers 
Creamery Company of Ridgeway and takes a deep interest in this branch of farm 
work. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. He is an honest and 
industrious man, who has spent his entire life on a farm, the greater part of 
which has been passed in Winneshiek county, so that he is not only familiar with 
its history but is interested in its welfare and development, and has himself done 
not a little to further the agricultural interests of this section of Iowa. 



CHARLES HAAS. 

As evidence of the life work of Charles Haas stands one of the largest, best 
appointed, best equipped meat markets of Winneshiek county, located on East 
Water street, Decorah. By attending strictly to business Mr. Haas has built 
up an enterprise which ranks second to none in the county and which brings him 
a gratifying annual income. Cleanliness and fair dealing are the watchwords 
of his establishment and are never lost sight of. He was born in Dubuque, this 
state, on December 5, 1857, a son of Jacob and Margaret (Rice) Haas, the 
former a native of Baden, Germany, and a blacksmith by trade and the latter born 
in Prussia. The parents were married in Maryland, where the father had located 
upon coming to the United States, in the city of Baltimore, when he was nine- 
teen years of age. They subsequently moved westward to Iowa and in 1859 
came to Decorah, where he followed the blacksmith's trade on a farm near the 
town. Upon the outbreak of the Civil war he answered his country's call for 
men and served in the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, being detailed on the western cam- 
paigns against the Indians. He had learned his trade in Maryland and before 
coming to Decorah in 1859 had spent a short time in Dubuque. On his farm near 
Decorah Mr. Haas lived until his death, respected and esteemed by all who 
knew him. He died in 1901, his wife passing to her reward eight years later, 
in 1909. 

Charles Haas, in the acquirement of his education, attended district school, 
making the best opportunity of such advantages as were offered in those prim- 
itive times. He remained on the farm until nineteen years of age and 
then came to Decorah. where he engaged in the butcher business, from that 
time having so continued to the present day and having been located in the same 
store on East Water street ever since. He is associated in the business with 
his brother H. W. Haas. Mr. Haas has built up an extensive and profitable 
business by giving his sole attention to its affairs, a business which is up-to-date 



172 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

in every respect and would be a credit to a metropolitan city. It is one of the 
largest and best equipped markets in Winneshiek county and he does largely his 
own killing. Success has been his in rich measure and justly so, for it is but the 
outcome of continuous labor, incessant energy, vigilance and fair and honest 
methods. 

( In July 22. 1880, Mr. Haas was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Manning, 
a daughter of Malike and Sarah (Golden) Manning, both natives of Ireland. 
The parents came to the United States and subsequently located in Winneshiek 
county in an early day of its history. They were married in Boston, Massachu- 
setts, but Mrs. 1 laas was born and reared in W'atertown, Wisconsin, where the 
parents resided before coming to Iowa. She was the mother of the following 
children: Lizzie, the wife of Herman Tavener, of Decorah ; Hattie, who married 
Arthur Tavener, also of I )ecorah ; Nellie, who married Vera Kennard, of 
North Dakota; (.race, at home; Arthur J., of Decorah; and Violet, at home. 
Mr. and Mrs. I laas and their children are devout members of the Roman Catholic 
church of Decorah, in the work of which they take an active and helpful interest. 
Fraternally he is a member of Decorah Dodge, No. 443, B. P. O. E.. and 
Decorah Nest. No. 1045. Order of Owls. He gave evidence of his public- 
spirit by serving four years as councilman from the second ward, doing valuable 
work in promoting measures for the benefit of the city and ably representing his 
ward. He is a stockholder in the Winneshiek Hotel Company and the Grand 
1 Ipera House Company of Decorah. He has always led a busy, useful life in 
which indolence and idleness have had no part and whereby he is not only 
contributing to his own success but has become an important factor in the 
development of Decorah and Winneshiek county, always glad to bear his share 
in the work of making this what he believes it will one day become — one of 
the most prosperous localities in the world. In all that he undertakes he is 
actuated by a spirit of contagious enthusiasm that is an inspiration to others, 
and acting according to the dictates of his faith and judgment, time has proven 
the wisdom of his opinion. His life work has been a serviceable factor in the 
growth and upbuilding of Decorah. which has no more loyal advocate than 
Charles Haas. 



GEORGE M. ANDERS< >N. 

George M. Anderson is a prominent and representative farmer of Frank- 
ville township, living on section 7. his time and energies being devoted to the 
further development and cultivation of a farm of two hundred acres. He has 
resided thereon continuously for sixty years save for a period spent as a soldier 
of the Civil war. He was born in Drammen. Norway, on the 5th of January, 
1830. a son of Magnus and Inger (Sheggered) Linnevold. It was in the 
year 1853 that the parents started for America with their seven children. The 
father did not believe that the English speaking people could manage his sur- 
name and therefore changed it to Anderson, which is the English of Linnevold. 
This name was accordingly used by the subject of this review, but the latter's 
children have reverted to the old Norwegian name. After reaching the United 





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iffi. AND .AIMS. GEORGE M. ANDERSON 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 175 

States the family spent about three months in Racine, Wisconsin, and in October, 
1853, came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, settling in Frankville township. This 
district was then upon the frontier and few settlements had been made within the 
borders of the county. .Much of the land was still in possession of the govern- 
ment and Magnus Anderson, or Linnevold, entered a claim constituting the farm 
upon which his son George now resides. He at once began to cultivate the land 
and in time brought it to a high state of cultivation, he and his wife spending 
their remaining days upon this place. The latter died September 5, 1866, at 
the age of fifty-eight years, while the father reached the venerable age of ninety- 
two years, passing away May 29, 1897. He had learned and followed the car- 
penter's trade in his native country and he also worked at carpentering in Iowa 
in connection with farming. He had one hundred and sixty acres in the old 
homestead, together with forty acres of timber in Glenwood township. His 
religious faith was that of the Lutheran church and his political belief that of the 
republican party, to which he gave stanch support after becoming a naturalized 
American citizen. Unto him and his wife were born seven children : Celia, the 
wife of Juul Skarie, of Fillmore county, Minnesota; George M. ; Caroline, who 
is the widow of Ole Steen and resides at Forest City, Iowa ; Andrew, who en- 
listed in Company G, Twelfth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Civil 
war and was mortally wounded at the battle of Corinth, his death occurring a 
month later in a hospital at Keokuk. Iowa ; Ingeborg, the wife of Martin Swen- 
son, of Fillmore county. Minnesota; Johanna, the wife of W. O. Hanson, of 
Forest City, Iowa ; and Ole, who for twenty-five years was a traveling salesman 
for a Chicago house, but died in Forest City in 191 1. 

George M. Anderson was a youth of about seventeen years when brought by 
his parents to the new world, and since that time he has resided continuously 
upon the farm on section 7. Frankville township, which is now his home. The 
only interruption to his activities as an agriculturist came at the time of the 
Civil war, when he enlisted in August, 1862, as a member of Company E, Thirty- 
Eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Henry Cleghorn. He served 
until the close of the war and was mustered out at Houston, Texas, on the 
15th of August, 1865. He took part in all of the engagements with his com- 
pany, including a number of hotly contested battles. Going to the front as a 
corporal he returned as a sergeant and his military record was ever a most credit- 
able one. 

After his return from the war "Mr. Anderson resumed farming, which he 
followed until two years ago, when he suffered a fall, which injury caused him 
the loss of his eyesight. He is still the owner of the two hundred acre farm 
which his father owned and the place is devoted to general farming and stock- 
raising. It has been well improved by Mr. Anderson, who year by year care- 
fully tilled the fields and gathered good crops. On one occasion his home was 
destroyed by fire, but he immediately rebuilt, erecting a modern and attractive 
residence which is one of the fine homes of the township. 

On the 23d of December, 1865, Mr. Anderson was united in marriage to Miss 
Johanna Jacobson, who was born in Norway, August 14, 1842, and in 1853 came 
to the United States with her parents, Johannes and Olina Sivesseind, who re- 
mained residents of this county until called to their final rest, the father passing 
away in 1889 at the age of eighty-two years and the mother in 1895 at the age 



176 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

of seventy-eight years. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were the parents of eight chil- 
dren : Albert, who resides on part of his father's farm ; John, a preacher of the 
Lutheran church, now in Edgerton, Wisconsin ; Ingeman, who for six years has 
served as county auditor of Winneshiek county, but expects soon to remove from 
Decorah to Fargo, North Dakota; Frederick Julius, who died at the age of seven 
months; .Marie, the wife of George Ode. of Decorah; William, who operates the 
farm for his father and occupies a part of the residence; Hannah, who died 
August 5, 1912, at the age of thirty-three years; and Elizabeth, the wife of Rev. 
Peter Kjorlang. a Lutheran minister at Warren, Minnesota. 

In politics Mr. Anderson has been a life-long republican since casting his 
first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in i860. He has held all of the 
township offices — was justice of the peace for twelve years, assessor for twelve 
years, and has twice been United States census enumerator. His public duties 
have ever been most faithfully discharged and his record as a citizen is a most 
commendable one. That he is popular with his old army comrades is shown by 
the fact that he was elected president of the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry Re- 
union, held at Decorah in October, 1912, but owing to the fact that he lost his 
eyesight he has been unable to serve. He belongs to Colonel Hughes Post. Xo. 
160, G. A. R., of Decorah, and is a demitted Mason. He and his family have 
held membership in the Lutheran church since 1853. He has been very active 
in church work, has held official positions in connection therewith, and at all 
times his life has been an upright, honorable one, in harmony with his profes- 
sions. In this way he has gained the good-will and confidence of all. He is one 
of Winneshiek county's pioneer citizens, having been a witness of the greater 
part of the growth and progress of the county since he took up his abode here 
in 1853. 



WILLIS & NESS. 



The leading furniture and undertaking firm of Decorah is that of Willis & 
Ness, who have a modernly equipped, up-to-date store on East Water street, 
in its appointments and stock rivaling any metropolitan establishment. The 
firm is composed of two young, progressive business men of modern policies, 
who have attracted to them a large and profitable trade. 

Peter J. Ness, member of the firm of Willis & Ness, was born in Highland 
township, Winneshiek county, November 9. 1877, a son of John ( ). and Jarend 
(Holverson) Ness, natives of Norway. The father was a farmer in his native 
country, coming in 1870 to the United States, making settlement at Highlands- 
ville, Winneshiek county, where he purchased land and engaged in farming. 
As the years passed his labors brought results and in December, 1912, he retired 
to Decorah, where he and his wife now live in well earned retirement. 

Peter J. Ness attended school in Highland township and assisted his father 
in the farm work until nineteen years of age, when he came to Decorah to 
accept the position of clerk with his brother, O. J. Ness, who conducted a 
grocery store here. In this relation he remained for seven years, being then 
enabled to establish a bakery shop which was located one door west of his 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 177 

present place, and for six years successfully conducted a bakery, selling out at 
that time. After a short vacation he formed, in July, 191 1, a partnership with 
Mr. Willis, as a result of which their present furniture and undertaking busi- 
ness was established. 

Mr. Ness was married on May 30, 1900, to Miss Isabella Caroline Peterson, 
a daughter of Ingebret and Carrie Peterson. The father was an agriculturist 
of Canoe township, Winneshiek county, and passed away before the birth of 
the wife of our subject. Mrs. Peterson has also passed away, her death occurring 
in the home of Mr. Ness in Decorah in 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Ness have one 
child, Ruby Idella, born on Christmas day, 1901. She attends the parochial 
school of the Norwegian Lutheran church of Decorah. Mr. and Mrs. Wss 
are both devoted members of the United Lutheran church of Decorab, in the 
work of which they take an active and helpful interest. 

To attain the highest degree of efficiency in the undertaking business Mr. 
Ness recently attended the Hohenschuh & Carpenter College, of Des Moines, 
Iowa, where he took a course in embalming and upon graduation received his 
diploma in 191 2. Socially he is connected with the Norske Selskab Society of 
Decorah. A public-spirited and progressive man, he takes a deep interest in all 
movements affecting the welfare of his community, and can always be found 
in the front rank of those who advocate measures for improvement and bet- 
terment. 

Lawrence 13. Willis, the other member of the firm, was born in Grant 
county, Wisconsin, on November 16, 1875, a son of John and Elizabeth (Jones) 
Willis. The father is a native of Yorkshire, England, coming to the United 
States in 1844 and locating near Racine, Wisconsin. He is a carpenter and 
cabinet-maker by trade and there he followed this occupation. He and his wife, 
who is also a native of the mother country, are living today at Boscobel, Wis- 
consin. The marriage of the parents took place in Wisconsin on October 6, 
1869. In their family were five children, of whom four are now living as fol- 
lows: Lawrence B., of this review; J. R., of Muscoda, Wisconsin; Mrs. Erma 
Remington, of Excelsior, Wisconsin; and Mrs. J. T. Tuffey, of Chicago, Illinois. 

Mr. Willis of this review attended school in Boscobel, Wisconsin, and sub- 
sequently assisted his father in the carpenter and cabinet-making business. He 
later worked with his brother, John R., who was a wagonmaker by trade. In 
these connections he laid, the foundation to the success which later was his 
in the furniture business. He next entered the grocery line, being so engaged 
for five years. In 1900 he was employed by J. R. Muffley & Sons, of Boscobel, 
Wisconsin, who were engaged in the undertaking and furniture business, there 
remaining for four years. He took a course in embalming in the Hohenschuh 
& Carpenter College of Des Moines, Iowa, graduating in 191 1. In 1910 Mr. 
Willis came to Decorah, buying and conducting a bakery, but shortly thereafter, 
in July, 191 1, entered into partnership with Mr. Ness in the operation of a 
furniture establishment. 

On February 13, 1899, Mr. Willis was united in marriage to Miss Edna 
Hammond of Boscobel, Wisconsin, a daughter of Monteville Hammond, who 
died when Mrs. Willis was but a year old. Mr. and Mrs. Willis have one 
daughter, Kittie, born May 18, 1904, who attends public school in Decorah. Mr. 



178 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Willis is a republican in his political affiliations, and both he and his wife are 
devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which they give their 
moral and material support. Fraternally Mr. Willis is prominent, being a member 
of the lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Decorah, belonging 
also to the Rebekahs and Encampment of Boscobel, and is also a member of 
Decorah Lodge No. 443, B. P. O. E. ; the Modern Woodmen of Boscobel, Wis- 
consin; and the Woodmen of the World, of Decorah. Mrs. Willis belongs to the 
Rebekahs and Royal Neighbors. 

The furniture store of Willis & Ness is excellently appointed and they carry 
a large and complete stock, being able to fill any demands made upon them by 
their patrons. The line of goods they handle is so extensive that a storage 
annex is needed, which is situated across the street from their store. They have 
built up a reputation for a straightforward policy, honest dealing and honest 
gnuds at honest prices, which has broughl them a gratifying and steadil) increas 
ing patronage. Both young men devote their entire attention to the manage- 
ment of their etablishment. which not only is bringing them a gratifying income 
but is an important factor in the commercial development of Decorah and 
Winneshiek county. 



THEODORE THOMPSON. 

Theodore Thompson, who for many years has been associated in an influ- 
ential way with farming and stock-raising interests of Winneshiek, his native 
county, was born March 5, 1876, and is a son of < >le and Rhoda (Johnson) 
Thompson, natives of Norway. The father came to America when he was but 
ten years of age and with his parents located in Decorah in 1855. He learned 
the blacksmith's trade and followed it for twelve years after beginning his in- 
dependent career, later turning his attention to farming on shares. After one 
year he came to Springfield township and here purchased forty acres on section 
13. developing this from a raw and unimproved tract into a productive and 
valuable property. Upon this he made his home until his death, which occurred 
in April, 1897, he having survived his wife since 1885. In this family were seven 
children: Henry A., deceased; Henry A., second of the name, who has also passed 
away; a child, who died in infancy; Andrew Albert, a resident of Decorah; 
Matilda, who has passed away; Bertha; and Theodore, of this review. 

Theodore Thompson was reared upon his father's farm in Springfield town- 
ship and acquired his education in the district schools of this section. He became 
a practical and able agriculturist and aided with the operation of the homestead 
until after his father's death, when he purchased the property which he has oper- 
ated along practical and modern lines since that time. His farm is highly im- 
proved and in excellent condition, being provided with a comfortable dwelling, 
barns, outbuildings and the machinery necessary to facilitate the work of the 
fields. He has met with excellent success in his farming and stock-raising oper- 
ations and although still a young man has attained a handsome competence through 
his intelligently directed labor. 




THEODORE THOMPSON 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 181 

Mr. Thompson makes his home with his sister Bertha and both are well known 
and highly respected in the community. He gives his political allegiance to the 
republican party and is a devout member of the Lutheran church. His atten- 
tion is practically centered upon the development of his farm but a great many 
of his leisure hours are spent in motoring in the fine Overland touring car which 
he has recently purchased. Although still a young man Mr. Thompson has already 
attained success and has taken his place among the prominent farmers and enter- 
prising and progressive citizens of his native county. 



JOHN O. ANDERSON. 

Tohn O. Anderson is a worthy representative of the farming interests of 
Winneshiek county, owning and operating a well improved property of one 
hundred and sixty acres, situated on sections 17 and 20, Madison township. Mr. 
Anderson claims Illinois as the state of his nativity, being born in Boone county, 
October 15, 1852, a son of Ole and Ellen (Olson) Anderson, both of whom were 
natives of Norway. The father emigrated with his family to America, locating 
on a farm in Boone county, Illinois, in 1843. He gave his entire time and atten- 
tion to the cultivation of the place during the subsequent twelve years, when, 
disposing of that property, he came to Winneshiek county, the year of his 
arrival here being 1855. His stay here was brief, however, for he passed away 
within a few weeks after his arrival. The mother afterward purchased a farm 
in Glenwood township and with the assistance of her sons operated the place 
until the time of her death, which occurred in April, 1896. 

John O Anderson was but two and a half years of age when he was brought 
by his parents from Illinois to Winneshiek county, so that practically his entire 
life has here been passed. At the usual age he entered the district schools, wherein 
he acquired the knowledge that fitted him for a practical business career. As 
soon as he was old enough he began assisting in the lighter tasks of the home 
farm and as he grew in strength and years he assumed the larger responsibilities 
in connection with carrying on work on the homestead. He remained with his 
mother until he had reached the age of thirty-five, when he rented a farm and 
began operating it on his own account. He was thus engaged for five years, but 
at the expiration of that period, his wife having died in the meantime, he 
abandoned farming and removed to Willow City, North Dakota, in 1893, and 
there engaged in the livery business. He there remained until 1897, when he 
disposed of his interests and returned to Winneshiek countv, locating on a 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres on sections 17 and 20. Madison township. 
He has since been engaged in the cultivation and improvement of this place and 
now has one of the model and well improved farms of this part of the county. 

Mr. Anderson has been twice married, his first union being with Miss Maria 
Peterson, whom he wedded on the 15th of October. 1882. Her parents, Peter 
and Caroline Peterson, both natives of Norway, came to America in an early- 
day and the father engaged in farming throughout his life. Both he and his 
wife are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson became the parents of two 
daughters: Clara, the wife of Julian Kjos, a farmer of Madison township; and 



182 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Alena, the wife of Gust G. Haugen, proprietor of a restaurant in Decorah. After 
a long illness the wife and mother departed this life in May, 1891, and Mr. 
Anderson was again married in the fall of 1897 to Sylvia Hopperstad, a daughter 
of Air. and Mrs. Andrew Hopperstad, who were likewise natives of Norway 
and were farming people of Lincoln township, this county. Five children have 
been born of Mr. Anderson's second marriage, Ernest, Stella, Angeline, Leon 
and John. 

Mr. Anderson is a .stockholder in the Farmers Creamery Company of Ridge- 
way. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, while his religious 
faith is that of the Lutheran church. He has spent practically his entire life in 
Winneshiek county and is therefore well known in this section of the state. 
He is a successful farmer who is held in high esteem by his neighbors and 
friends. 



HENRY F. KORNMEYER. 

Among the foremost horsemen of Decorah and Winneshiek county is Henry 
F. Kornmeyer. who conducts one of the leading liveries in that city. He was 
born October 8, 1869. a son of Bernard and Mary (Dannelfelser) Kornmeyer, 
the father a native of Germany and a descendant of an old and substantial 
family of that country. He was a brickmaker by trade and when a young man 
came to America, about fifty years ago, locating in Decorah in pursuance of his 
occupation. The father started his first brickyard on the site where the Luther 
College stands today and manufactured in his yard the brick for the first build- 
ings of that institution. He also engaged for some years in freighting from 
Decorah to McGregor, taking grain to McGregor and bringing back provisions 
before the era of the railroad. He became the owner of a valuable farm south- 
west of the city and adjoining the same and was cultivating the soil there when 
he passed away in 1900. His wife was also a native of Germany and their 
marriage occurred in Pennsylvania, they coming west shortly after that event to 
Decorah. She is still residing on the home farm, having passed the seventy-fifth 
milestone on life's journey in March, 1913. In their family were seven children: 
Charles, a brick manufacturer of Decorah ; Louisa, the wife of Charles Linken- 
heil, of Le Mars, Iowa ; Henry F., of this review ; Emma, the wife of Frank 
Hess, of Decorah ; Bernard, a brickmaker of Decorah ; Mamie, the wife of 
Harry McCusker, a real-estate dealer of Wahpeton, North Dakota ; and Rosa, 
the wife of Al Callander, of Ocheyedan, Iowa. 

Henry F. Kornmeyer attended the Decorah public schools and while growing 
to manhood developed a great love for horses. For years he followed racing, 
driving and training these noble animals, and breaking and conditioning them 
for a period of sixteen years. During that time he was connected with such 
well known people as M. E. McKendrie, J. Scott McCoy, Fred Robar and 
Colonel Robert Neales among other noted horsemen. In October, 191 1, Mr. 
Kornmeyer purchased the Reed stables in Decorah and has since been engaged in 
the livery business with steadily increasing success. His are among the best 
stables in the city and enjoy a large and representative patronage. He conducts 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 183 

a livery and also a feed and sale stable, buying and selling horses, although he 
does no shipping. 

On January 9, 1907, Mr. Kornmeyer was united in marriage to Miss Theresa 
Benkert, of Cincinnati, Ohio, in which city the ceremony was performed. The 
following children were born to this union: Leonard, born October 24, 1907, 
who attends kindergarten in the Decorah public schools; Odelia, born October 
4, 1909; and Ritta, born May 14, 1912. 

The religious faith of the family is that of the Roman Catholic church, of 
which they are devout communicants. Politically Mr. Kornmeyer is a democrat, 
keeping well informed upon all public issues and questions although he cares 
not for public office. He is also well known in fraternal circles, being a member 
of the Woodmen of the World and the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. A 
public-spirited man, Mr. Kornmeyer stands for all that is going to make Decorah 
a greater and better city, giving his warm-hearted support to any worthy public 
enterprise. He is well and favorably known in the city and highly respected and 
esteemed on account of his many high qualities of mind and character. 



JOHN J. ALBERS. 



Among the native sons of Winneshiek county who have gained well deserved 
success in agricultural pursuits is John J. Albers, who since 1909 has carried 
on general farming upon the old Albers homestead. He was born, June 24, 1870, 
in Canoe township and is a son of Henry and Elizabeth (Herr) Albers, natives 
of Germany and early settlers in Winneshiek county, where the father spent 
practically his entire life engaged in farming. He was well known in this part 
of Iowa and served for several years as road supervisor. His death occurred 
in Cresco, February 1, 1910. His wife survives him, making her home in that 
city. To their union were born eleven children : George, of Lake Benton, 
Minnesota ; Anna, the wife of Albert Reinhardt, of Howard county, Iowa ; 
Ida, who became the wife of John Bender and is now deceased; Henry J., 
engaged in farming in Lincoln township; John J., of this review; Clara, the 
wife of John Kuntz, of Luck, Wisconsin ; Emma R., who married Frank 
Blackburn, of Lincoln township, this county ; Albert, of Cresco ; Fred W., a 
resident of the same locality ; a child, who died in infancy ; and Edward R., 
of Cresco. 

John J. Albers was reared at home and from his early childhood has been 
familiar with farm operation, having spent a great deal of time aiding his 
father with the work of the homestead. After beginning his independent career 
he worked at farm labor for ten years and then rented one hundred and twenty 
acres of land in Lincoln township. After one year upon this property he began 
working by the day but eventually rented the homestead, operating this for three 
years thereafter. At the end of that time he rented another farm of one 
hundred acres and after one year rented an eighty-acre tract, upon which he 
continued to make his home for three years. He then returned to the home- 
stead and has now been renting this property for four years, carrying on gen- 



184 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

oral farming and stock-raising and meeting with that success which always 
follows earnest and persistent labor. 

On the 26th of November, 1902, Mr. Albers was united in marriage to Miss 
Emma Gerber. a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Bach) Gerber, natives of 
Switzerland. Mr. and Mrs. Albers became the parents of two children: a son 
who died in infancy; and Louise Herminia Alma. Mr. Albers is a republican 
in his political beliefs and fraternally is connected with the Modern Woodmen 
of America. He is a devout member of the Methodist church and is a man of 
exemplary character, known in his business dealings for reliability and integrity 
and holdine the esteem and confidence of all who are associated with him. 



TONNES T. BRINGSJORD. 

A member of the Norwegian colony of Winneshiek county, Tonnes T. 
Bringsjord has done valuable work in promoting agricultural interests in Decorah 
township, where until recently he owned a fertile farm of one hundred and 
ninety acres, located on section 24. As a boy of fifteen, he came to America, 
empty in pocket but rich in determination, and that he has succeeded thereof 
his present prosperity is the best proof. Born at Syngdal, Norway, March 22, 
1873, his parents were Tobias and Gesena (Sellen) Bringsjord, natives of that 
country. The father during practically his entire active life followed agricul- 
tural pursuits in Norway and there passed away in 1902, the mother preceding 
him in death by one year. 

Tonnes T. Bringsjord was reared under the parental roof and had early 
instilled into his youthful conscience lessons on the value of thrift, diligence and 
honesty. He attended school in his native country, discontinuing his lessons 
early in boyhood in order to assist his father with the farm work. Remaining 
at home until fifteen years of age, he then came to America and making his 
way inland located in Winneshiek county, where for four or five years he made 
his livelihood as a farm hand. Carefully husbanding his savings, he had acquired 
sufficient means to rent a farm, which he operated until 1906 with such good 
success that at the end of that time he was enabled to acquire by purchase one 
hundred and ninety acres on section 24. Decorah township. There he devoted 
iiis sole attention to the cultivation of his land, making valuable improvements 
on the buildings and installing modern, labor-saving machinery. In the spring 
of 1913 Mr. Bringsjord disposed of this property to good advantage, although 
he still makes his home on the place and intends in the near future to buy other 
agricultural property. 

In 1892 Tonnes T. Bringsjord was united in marriage to Miss Bertha O. 
Ramsey and to them three children were born, Gesena. Amanda and Tilda. 
After a short illness Mrs. Bringsjord passed away in 1897, deeply mourned by 
her immediate family and a large circle of friends. In 1899 Mr. Bringsjord 
wedded Mary O. Haugen, a daughter of Ole and Mary Haugen, natives of 
Norway, where Mrs. Bringsjord also was born. She was six years old when 
she was brought by her parents to America. Of this union also three children 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 185 

were born, namely: Melvine and Ole, twins, born September 18, 1900; and 
Helen, whose birth occurred August 14, 1905. 

Mr. Bringsjord is a stockholder in the Ice Cave Creamery Company of 
Decorah, and also is interested in the Farmers Hog Company. His religious 
faith is that of the Lutheran church and politically he is a republican. Enter- 
prising and progressive, he has become a valuable citizen of Decorah township 
and by his labors has promoted agricultural growth and development. He is 
interested in all public enterprises of permanent value and is ever ready to 
gladly bear his share of time and money in any worthy cause. He is highly 
respected and esteemed in his community and enjoys the confidence and good- 
will of a large circle of friends, who have learned to appreciate his worth and 
his high qualities of mind and character. 



EDWARD LYNNE. 



Although Edward Lynne has been engaged in business in Decorah only since 
1908, he has already been recognized as an important factor in the commercial 
life of the city. There he conducts an establishment on Main street, where he 
handles flour, feed, hay and grain. A native of Winneshiek county, Iowa, he 
was born October 3, 1855, and is a son of John and Mary (Dammen) Lynne, 
natives of Norway. The father, who was a carpenter by trade, came to America 
in 1853 and settled in Gle'nwood township, Winneshiek county, buying one 
hundred and twenty acres of land in that locality upon which he lived until 
his death. His wife also passed away on that farm. He was among the 
early pioneers of this section and by strict attention to his property succeeded 
in transforming a wild tract of land into a valuable farm, enjoying in his later 
years a substantial competence as the result of his diligence and industry. He 
was highly respected and esteemed in the vicinity by all who knew him. He 
was a public-spirited man, interesting himself in public affairs, and successfully 
held various township offices. Both he and his wife made their homes with our 
subject after Edward Lynne had bought the farm from his father, the parents 
remaining with him until their death. They were among the ones that founded 
the congregation of Rev. Korns, a Norwegian pioneer minister, on Washington 
prairie. The latter was one of the very first circuit riders in northeastern Iowa 
and the parents always gave their faithful allegiance to this church. 

Edward Lynne attended the district schools in Glenwood township in the 
acquirement of his education and early began to assist his father in the work on 
the home place. He took charge of the management of the farm in 1883 and 
continued in its cultivation until 1908. He bought the home farm from his 
father before the latter died and subsequently added forty acres to it. Follow- 
ing modern and progressive methods of soil cultivation, he made a success of 
his enterprise, bringing his land to a high state of productivity. He placed upon 
the farm many valuable improvements and such equipment as is considered indis- 
pensable to attain the highest agricultural results. He gave also considerable 
attention to stock-raising, specializing in full-blooded Poland China hogs and 
a high grade of Guernsey cattle. In 1908 Mr. Lynne laid aside the active work 



186 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

of the farm and rented his property in order to remove to Deeorah. Four 
years later, in the fall of 10,12. he disposed of his farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres, receiving an advantageous price. Upon his coming to Deeorah Mr. 
Lynne engaged in the flour and feed business and has since built up an enter- 
prise of extensive and profitable connections, having a store on Main street 
where he handles his produce. 

On May 6, 1879, Mr. Lynne was united in marriage to Miss Catharine 
Peterson, a daughter of Gustave Peterson, who for many years engaged in 
school teaching and farming in Glenwood township. Later Mr. and Mrs. 
Peterson sold their farm and moved to Wisconsin, where both passed away. 
Mr. and Mrs. Lynne became the parents of the following children: Clara, the 
wife of Adolph Running, an agriculturist residing in Detroit, Minnesota, by 
whom she has one child, Catharine ; Milla, who is the wife of Peter Ramsey, 
a farmer of Frankville township, and by whom she has five children. Elling, 
Thelma, Oren. Marjorie and Peter; Gustave, who is engaged as bookkeeper and 
stenographer at Detroit, Minnesota; and Arthur and Edna, at home. 

Politically Mr. Lynne is a republican and has given evidence of his public- 
spirit in various capacities, serving as township tax collector, assessor and 
trustee, as justice of the peace and president and secretary of the school board 
of Glenwood township, of which board he was also a director. He, moreover, 
was road supervisor for several years. His interest in commercial expansion 
is evident from his membership in the Commercial Club of Deeorah, and his 
religious faith, and that of his wife and children, is indicated by their member- 
ship in the Lutheran Synod church. He is keeping alive the spirit of his 
ancestors by membership in the Norske Selskab society of Deeorah. When living 
upon his farm he was one of those who were instrumental in organizing the 
first creamery in Glenwood township and subsequently organized two more 
enterprises of that kind, assisting in the management and operation of the three 
plants. In partnership with him in this company were Nels Ramsey, Ole Batke, 
Gustave Johnson and E. R. Miller. They operated their plants successfully for 
three years and then sold out at a profit to the Excelsior Creamery Company. 
That the activities of Edward Lynne have been of lasting and important benefit 
to his locality, there is no doubt, for he has not only raised agricultural stand- 
ards but was one of the promoters of the creamery industry and in later years 
has become a power for trade expansion in Deeorah, making him a serviceable 
factor in the community life — a man who is as much interested in promoting 
general prosperity as his own success. 



SAMUEL WISE. 



Samuel Wise, who has resided upon his farm in Pleasant township since 
he was eleven years of age, is numbered among the most able, progressive and 
successful farmers in this vicinity, his fine property of two hundred and ninety- 
three acres on sections 16 and 17. evidencing in its neat and attractive appear- 
ance his careful supervision and practical labors. He was born in Pine Grove 
township, Venango county, Pennsylvania, on the 24th of December, 184^, and 




SAMUEL WISE 




MRS. SAMUEL WISE 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 191 

is a son of Samuel and Phoebe (Merryman) Wise, natives of that state, the 
former of Dutch ancestry and the latter of German and English extraction. 
The parents came to Iowa in the spring of 1856, the father having purchased 
land from the government in the previous year, and they continued to make 
their home upon this farm for many years, Samuel Wise dying upon the prop- 
erty December 4, 1879, at the age of seventy-one. His wife, who was born in 
1810, passed away March 21, 1886. They were the parents of eleven children: 
Keziah, who married Charles Reese, of Springport, Michigan; Elizabeth, who 
became the wife of Christian Kinch and who died in 1858; Wilson, of Artesian, 
South Dakota; Nancy, the widow- of Daniel Price and a resident of Burr Oak, 
Iowa; Daniel, who makes his home in Carl Junction, Missouri; Elijah, of 
Pomona, California; Harrison, who passed away January 19, 1862; Phoebe, 
the widow of Nathan Drake, of Glenwood township, this county ; Samuel, of 
this review; Allen, who was drowned in the Iowa river in 1867, when he was 
seventeen years of age; and Mary, the widow of Frank Stortz, of Norfolk, 
Nebraska. Of these children Daniel and Elijah are veterans of the Civil war, 
having enlisted from Decorah in Company D, Third Iowa Volunteer Infantry, 
under Captain Willet, and having served until the close of hostilities. 

When Samuel Wise was eleven years of age he accompanied his parents 
from Illinois to Iowa and took up his residence with them upon the Wise 
homestead in Winneshiek county, whereon he grew to manhood. He has made 
his home upon this property ever since and now owns two hundred and ninety- 
three acres lying on sections 16 and 17. Upon this he has made many sub- 
stantial improvements in buildings and equipment, his well directed efforts having 
been attended with a gratifying measure of success. In addition he is proprietor 
of one hundred and sixty acres in Dallas county, Texas, and this, together with 
his home property, brings him a substantial annual income. 

On the 24th of December, 1868, Mr. Wise was united in marriage to Miss 
Catherine Barth, of Cincinnati, Ohio, born December 14, 1852. She came with 
her parents to Iowa in the fall of 1855. To their union were born fifteen chil- 
dren : Rosamond, who married Albert Ellingson, of Pleasant township ; Phoebe, 
who became the wife of Charles Rima, of Decorah ; Flora, who married B. E. 
Bucknell, of Decorah ; Isaiah, who lives at home ; Julia, the wife of E. F. Guefr- 
roy, of Charles City, Iowa; Elizabeth, at home; Lucy, who married M. E. Ander- 
son, of Washington, D. C. ; Daniel E., at home ; Allen, county recorder of Win- 
neshiek county, with residence at Decorah; Mary, who is engaged in teaching; 
Lily, who is employed in the National Bank at Decorah ; Keziah and Meda, 
engaged in teaching ; Sylvester, who lives at home ; and one child, who died in 
infancy. The mother died at the University Hospital, Iowa City, August 17, 
1910. 

Mr. Wise gave his political allegiance to the republican party until the nomi- 
nation of Blaine for the presidency, when he affiliated with the democracy. 
He has held various public offices, serving as justice of the peace, constable, 
school director and road supervisor, and his public career has been useful and 
beneficial, reflecting credit upon his ability and public spirit. He is numbered 
among the early residents in Pleasant township and has witnessed practically 
the entire development of this part of the county, his work since reaching man- 
hood forming an important factor in its advancement. Throughout the vears 

Vol. il— 9 



192 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

of an honorable and upright life he has firmly entrenched himself in the regard 
and esteem of his fellow citizens and stands today in a high place among repre- 
sentative farmers and substantial business men. 

In conclusion we present to our readers a story written by himself, entitled: 
"A Day in the Life of a Winneshiek County Boy." 

"I went to work plowing in the morning about two miles from father's house, 
At about half past nine o'clock my brother-in-law, D. Price, came to us (my 
father and eldest brother, were working in the same field ) to get a yoke of 
oxen to take his family to Decorah for safety. He told us that the Indians 
were coming and we had better clear out. He was very much excited. 

"We held a council of war right there and decided to send word to the 
neighbors to meet at Locust Lane that evening to make arrangements to meet 
the enemy. 

"The lock on father's rifle being broken, he went to Freeport to the gun- 
smith's to get it mended and at the same time bought all the gunpowder they 
had at the store in Freeport. From there he went to Decorah to buy lead and 
more powder. He couldn't get any powder there for they wanted all they had 
for the defense of Decorah. 

"I went he ime and started making bullets. First I ran all the lead we had 
into bullets for father's T. Smith rifle. Then I ran all the pewter I could find 
about the place into bullets for the shot gun. When I was through, mother 
brought all her pewter spoons and I melted and made them into bullets. I also 
cleaned and oiled an old double-barrelled shot gun. (This gun belonged to A. 
K. Drake, a resident of Decorah at the present time.) 

"About four o'clock Jake Powers came to our place to tell my folks the 
Indians were coming. He wanted to know what I was going to do with the 
shot gun and I said that I was going to shoot Indians. He laughed at me and 
said I couldn't shoot bullets with a shot gun and that he could stand by a tree 
and let me shoot at him all day and I couldn't hit him. And if I did, the bullet 
would not go through his clothes. I told him I could kill him at that distance 
so he went and stood by the tree and dared me to shoot. I locked the gun and 
raised it to shoot when my mother stepped out the door and grabbed the gun 
and wanted to know what we were doing. I told her and she gave Mr. Powers 
a scolding because I was only a boy but he was old enough to know better. He 
was about twenty-five years old. Then Mr. Powers put a mark on the tree 
and I was to see if I could hit it. I shot and the bullet struck the tree about 
two inches above the mark. He took his knife to take the bullet out but had 
to use an ax and cut into the oak tree about two inches for it. He then went 
to mother and thanked her for saving his life. 

"At sun down I did the chores and then started for Locust, three miles 
away. When I had gone half the distance I saw three men coming towards 
me, each carrying a gun. I took them to be Indians. I dropped behind a bunch 
of brush locked both barrels of my gun and waited for them to come close 
enough for a dead shot. I felt sure of the first Indian, a good chance of the 
second, and then dodge into the bush returning home, and be readv for them 
again. But before they got close enough for me to shoot, the imaginary Indians 
vanished and Henry Kniss. Mr. Bowns, and James Morehead took their places. 
They were old neighbors, out hunting Indians. When I stepped into the road 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 193 

in front of them they were startled. When we were gathered at Locust we 
appointed a committee of five men to go north the next day to see if the enemy 
was coming." 

Here Mr. Wise concludes his narrative of a day's experiences in a boy's life 
in the early days of the Red man's sway in Winneshiek county, giving an idea 
of conditions as they existed in his youth and presenting to our readers an 
interesting incident. 



BORGER HANSON. 



From carpenter to the position of one of the foremost contractors and 
builders of Decorah is a wide step to take, yet Borger Hanson has reached that 
position without outside help or special advantages, through his own efforts, and 
is considered today one of the foremost citizens of his community and one of 
its most substantial men, being also connected with other important enterprises 
in this locality. Born on March 10, 1856, in the kingdom of Norway, he is a 
son of Hans Peter and Bertha (Schagerj Nygaard, natives of Norway. The 
father followed the occupation of farming in the old country, where he passed 
away on January 2, 1871, but his wife subsequently came to the United States 
and made her home with our subject from 1886 until her demise in 1892. 

Borger Hanson in the acquirement of his education attended the excellent 
common schools of his native country and subsequently went to Christiania, 
where he learned the cabinet-maker's trade. The opportunities and advantages 
of the new world appealing to him, he came in 1876, when twenty years of age, 
to the United States and located in Decorah, Iowa, where he engaged in build- 
ing and contracting. There he remained for two years but in 1878 made removal 
to Fargo, North Dakota, where he was one of the first settlers to take up a 
homestead in the Red River valley, in Traill county. He became the owner of 
two hundred and forty acres and subsequently added to his ranch by acquiring 
another one hundred and sixty acres of school land. For seventeen years he 
gave his sole attention to the improvement and cultivation of his farm, remaining 
in that northern state until the fall of 1895, when he returned to Decorah to 
engage again in the contracting and building business. In 1910 he disposed of 
his North Dakota interests and now gives all of his time to contracting and 
subletting. He has built the gymnasium at the Luther College and superintended 
the carpenter work on the dormitory and built the hospital on the college 
grounds. Moreover, he has erected many residences in Decorah and country 
homes in W'inneshiek county, his extensive business connections speaking well 
for his ability and integrity. As his means have increased he has become con- 
nected with other important institutions and is now serving in the third year 
as a director of the Decorah State Bank, while he is also a stockholder in the 
Winneshiek Hotel Company and the Farmers Creameries. Lie owns, moreover, 
five hundred and sixty acres of well improved land in northern Minnesota, 
which he rents and from which he receives a gratifying income. 

In 1880 Mr. Hanson was united in marriage to Miss Nicoline Myrann, a 
daughter of Asle and Astrid (Nelson) Myrann, natives of Norway. The 



194 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

father followed agricultural pursuits throughout his life and upon coming to the 
United States became one of the pioneer settlers of Winneshiek county, where 
he located in Madison township, buying laud, to the cultivation of which he 
devoted the remainder of his life. Both the father and mother passed away 
there. Mr. and Mrs. Hanson were the parents of ten children: Borghild Hansine 
died at the age of thirty-two years. Alma Amanda passed away when but 
seven months old. Alma Alvilde. the wife of Rev. P. C. Danielson, who is 
pastor of the Norwegian Lutheran church of Fort Dodge, Iowa, is the mother 
of three children. Agnes Caroline, Evelyn Caroline and Baby Danielson. Cora 
Elizabeth died when seventeen years of age. Hans Peter, the eldest son in 
the family, is at present attending the Agricultural College at Ames, this state. 
Asle Norvin is pursuing a course in civil engineering at the State University at 
Iowa City. Sigurd Olaf takes an agricultural course at Ames, Iowa. Dagmar 
Victoria will graduate from the Decorah high school in 1916. Gisley Waldemar 
and Philip Yerner both died in 1902, the former at the age of two years and 
the latter in infancy. 

Mr. Hanson gives his allegiance to the republican party, and the family 
are members of the United Lutheran church. Setting out upon his career without 
particular advantages or influence, he has attained to a prominent and sub- 
stantial position in the community life of Decorah— a position which he has 
attained by his own efforts. He has well earned the proud title of self-made 
man and enjovs the confidence and good-will of all who come in contact with 
him in a business or social way. 



OLE P. HOVE. 



Ole P. Hove, who owns a fine farm of ninety acres on section 27, Madison 
township, and is one of the most active and progressive agriculturists of this 
locality, was born in Norway on the 24th of June, 1862. He is a son of Ole 
and Barbara ( Hedalen ) -Hove, also natives of that county, who came to America 
in Tune, 1866, locating in Winneshiek county. Iowa. The father purchased a 
farm in Madison township and improved it for a short time, but, owing to the 
failure of the wheat crop throughout this locality, was forced to give up his 
land. He afterward made his home with his children during the remainder of 
his life, passing away in the fall of [892. He had survived his wife for some 
time, her death having occurred in 1869. 

( )le P. Hove was only four years of age when his parents came to America. 
He was reared and educated in Winneshiek county, completing the prescribed 
course in the district schools and afterward turning his attention to work as a 
farm hand. He spent eight or nine years in this occupation and by the exercise 
of thrift and economy contrived to save during that period a considerable sum 
of money. With this he purchased eighty acres of land on section 2j, Madison 
township, and upon this he has since resided, having, however, afterward added 
to his holdings ten acres of timber land. Mr. Hove engages in general farming 
and stock-raising and has made many substantial improvements upon his prop- 
ertv, which is today well improved and well cultivated, reflecting everywhere the 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 195 

owner's many years of care and labor. Mr. Hove is a stockholder in the Farmers 
Creamery Company of Decorah and in the Farmers Cooperative Hog Buying 
Company, and is recognized in business circles as a man of keen insight and sound 
judgment. 

In December, 1892, Mr. Hove was united in marriage to Miss Clara Hanson, 
a daughter of Charles and Jane ( Sander) Hanson, natives of Norway, who came 
to America in early times, the mother in 1853 and the father about the year 1864. 
The latter was a harness maker by trade and worked at this occupation for some 
time after his arrival, later turning his attention to farming in Lincoln township, 
a line of work which has engaged his attention since that time. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hove have become the parents of six children: Stella, born November 7, 1893; 
Clarence, September 1, 1895; Florence, March 23, 1898; Esther, August 3, 1900; 
Lloyd, June 30, 1904; and Beatrice, February 26, 1907. 

Mr. Hove is a member of the Lutheran church and gives his political allegi- 
ance to the republican party. He was for thirteen years trustee of the town- 
ship and is now in the fourth year of his able service as assessor, discharging his 
duties in a capable, farsighted and progressive way. Along agricultural and 
political lines he has left the impress of his work and personality upon the history 
of this section of the state and commands and holds the high regard and confi- 
dence of all who have been associated with him. 



CHARLES CLEMENT PILGRIM. 

Charles Clement Pilgrim is engaged in general farming and stock-raising in 
Madison township, owning one hundred and fifty acres of land on section 14. 
He has brought his fields to a high state of cultivation and his place presents 
an attractive appearance, constituting one of the pleasant features of the land- 
scape. He was born in Clay county, this state, on December 25, 1871, and is 
a son of Charles W. and Nancy E. (Boyer) Pilgrim, a record of whom appears 
on another page of this work. 

Charles Clement Pilgrim was six years of age when his parents located in 
Winneshiek county, and here he was reared and educated, attending public 
schools at Ridgeway and later in the vicinity of Frankville. After laying 
aside his books he taught for one term in district schools, and at the end of 
that time joined his father in the operation of the homestead. Eventually 
Charles W. Pilgrim gave his son one hundred acres of land on section 14, 
Madison township, and to this Charles Clement Pilgrim has since added fifty 
acres which he purchased from his brother. He has steadily carried forward 
the work of improvement and development, clearing a portion of his holdings 
and erecting the necessary barns and outbuildings. He spent four years in 
Burley county, North Dakota, where he engaged in farming, but his mother 
being taken ill he returned to Winneshiek county, where he has since made his 
home upon his farm. He makes a specialty of raising thoroughbred shorthorn 
cattle and Chester White hogs, and his stock-raising interests are extensive and 
form a lucrative branch of his enterprise. 



196 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

In November, 1899, Mr. Pilgrim was united in marriage to Miss < iertrude 
Hill, a daughter of George and Catherine (Reiter) Hill, the former a native 
of Ohio and the latter of Pennsylvania. The parents came to Jefferson county, 
Iowa, at an early date and until 1895 the father operated a farm in that locality, 
lie then removed to Decorah, where he has since engaged in landscape gar- 
dening. Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim have two children : Dora Vesper, aged eleven ; 
and Ellis Clement, aged seven. 

Mr. Pilgrim is a devout member of the Methodist church and gives his 
political allegiance to the republican party, serving as secretary of the school 
board. His life has been a busy, useful and active one, and his success is indi- 
cated in his ownership of one of the valuable farming properties of Winneshiek 
county. 



JOHN NELSON TOPLIFF, Sr. 

After a long and active career devoted to agricultural pursuits John Nelson 
Topliff, Sr., lives retired in Decorah in the enjoyment of a competence which 
provides him with all the conveniences and many of the luxuries of life. For 
many years he was a prominent farmer in Winneshiek county and has not only 
attained his own success along that line but has been instrumental in promoting 
general agricultural conditions and advancement. He has lived retired in De- 
corah since 1 89 1, having become connected with the business life of the city as 
the owner of valuable property here. Although seventy-seven years of age, he 
is still active and enjoys the best of health, taking interest in all matters that 
affect the community and giving his support to all worthy causes. 

Born in Newark, New Jersey, on July 24, 1836, he is a son of Elias and 
Sarah ( Woodworth ) Topliff. the father born near Coventry, Connecticut, of 
English stock. Elias Topliff studied medicine in order to practice as physician 
and surgeon and for a time was active in his profession. Subsequently, how- 
ever, he engaged in the jewelry business and upon coming to Ohio, where he 
located near Milford Center, there engaged for ten years at the shoemaker's 
trade. In 1847 ' le made removal to northeastern Iowa and tried to find a suit- 
able location for settlement. The first spot which aroused his interest was two 
miles west of Postville, in Winneshiek county, and although it appealed to him 
as a likely location, he was not entirely satisfied and traveled on for some time, 
but finding nothing more suitable, subsequently returned to make his home 
there. He drove back to Ohio and bringing his family, settled on the property. 
His journeys were fraught with obstacles and hardships, as there were no roads 
at the time and he had to follow Indian trails. It was in 1848 that Mr. Topliff 
took up three hundred and twenty acres of land, partly in Allamakee county 
and partly in Winneshiek county. There he lived until the spring of 1852, when 
he was elected judge of Allamakee county and in order to enter upon his duties 
moved to Columbus, which was the county seat at the time. Public-spirited 
and progressive, he held public office from that time until his death. He was 
the first judge of Allamakee county and he died in Waukon. this state, in 
November, i860, while serving in the important position of county treasurer. 




1IR. AND MRS. JOHN N. TOPLIFF, SR. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 199 

For some time he also held the position of school commissioner. His wife was 
a native of Ohio and in that state their marriage took place. She died on May 
4, 1854, on the farm which was located east of Waukon, Iowa. 

John N. Topliff, Sr., enjoyed but meager educational advantages, attending 
school in Ohio until eleven years of age and working upon his father's farm 
after coming to Winneshiek county for two or three years. He improved his 
school advantages by attending the log schoolhouse erected on his father's farm 
near Postville, making use of the primitive opportunities thus offered. The 
father subsequently left the farm and our subject, when yet quite young, oper- 
ated the place for five years. In 1865 John N. Topliff. Sr., bought out his 
mother's share in the farm and made his home thereon until 1 89 1 , when he 
retired. Employing progressive and scientific methods, he brought his land to a 
high state of cultivation, placing suitable improvements thereon and installing 
such equipment as would increase the productivitiy of the soil and facilitate the 
labor. The years have brought him prosperity and in 1891 he was enabled to 
retire, selling his property and now residing in Decorah in the enjoyment of a 
comfortable competence. While living, in the country Mr. Topliff served for 
some time as local school director, and while his father was living was also em- 
ployed for two years in the treasurer's office. 

In i860 Mr. Topliff was married to Miss Rachel Elizabeth Reed, a daughter 
of David and Mary (Allen) Reed, the father a native of Ross county, Ohio, 
where he was born on June 27, 17^9. He was of Irish and Scotch descent and 
his occupation was that of a farmer. In 1848 he came to Winneshiek county, 
being one of the early pioneers of this part of the state, and located on land 
situated near the place upon which Elias Topliff had settled. He came to De- 
corah in 1852 and there died in March, 1880. He was closely identified with the 
public life of his locality and for eight years served with fairness and impar- 
tiality as county judge. His wife was born in Pennsylvania on May 9. 1814, and 
reared in Ohio, as was her husband, where they were married. She was of 
Yankee and Dutch extraction and passed away on February 4, 1866. Mr. and 
Mrs. John N. Topliff, Sr., became the parents of the following children : Charles 
L., born December 28, 1862, a well known dentist of Decorah, who married Ida 
Tillotlson of that city, by whom he has three children — Myrtle, Alta Grace and 
Lyle Ray; John N., Jr., born November 11, 1864, a farmer of Bruce, Wisconsin, 
who married Josie Kittenger, of Castalia, Iowa, by whom he has one son, Roily, 
a graduate of Highland Park College, now engaged in automobile manufacture 
in Des Moines; Ann Grace, born July 3, 1868, who died November 25, 1877; 
Frank Roily, born February 6, 1875, who died October 25, 1877; and Frank Ray, 
born May 19, 1884. a dentist at Postville, who married Miss May Joe Lennon of 
Decorah. 

Mr. Topliff is a stanch republican, giving his support to the measures and can- 
didates of that party. Both he and his wife are members of the Unitarian 
church, in which they take an active and helpful interest. Fraternally he is a 
member of the blue lodge of Masons at Decorah and both he and his wife belong 
to the Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Topliff was one of the first ladies to be 
initiated into this lodge in this part of the country, her initiation taking place 
at Postville. This lodge was instituted by Robert Morris, who at that time 
had just returned from the Holy Land and, giving a lecture thereon, organized 



•jim i PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

the lodge, Mr. and Mrs. Topliff becoming charter members. Mr. Topliff has also 
become closely connected with the business life of Decorah, owning a valuable 
business block in the down town district. Although seventy-seven years of age, 
he is still active and takes a deep interest in all matters that affect the com- 
munity life. Widely known, he is highly respected and esteemed by all for 
what he has accomplished and those qualities of mind and character which have 
made possible his success. 



CHARLES SPALLA. 



Among the prosperous agriculturists of Lincoln township is Charles Spalla, 
who owns a valuable farm of one hundred and twenty acres on section 36. He 
was born in Conover, Winneshiek count}-, November 25, [874, and is a son of 
John and Mary ( Halek ) Spalla. natives of Bohemia, who emigrated from that 
country directly to Conover at an early, date in the history of the settlement of 
this section. The father has been engaged in agricultural pursuits for many 
years and is now living in Madison township. Mr. and Mrs. John Spalla be- 
came the parents of eight children : John, of Hancock count)-, this state ; two 
who died in infancy; Mary, the wife of Wencel Kraser, of Festina ; Frank and 
Joseph, both of whom reside in North Dakota ; Charles, of this review ; and 
Christina, the wife of Henry Rohdmeyer. 

Charles Spalla was reared at home and early directed by his parents in the 
qualities of thrift, energy and industry. He acquired his education in the local 
schools and soon began to assist his father with the work of the farm. He sub- 
sequently gave his entire time to the cultivation of the fields until he was twenty- 
six years of age, when he bought one hundred and twenty acres on section 36, 
in Lincoln township, where he has built a fine home two stories in height and 
erected modern barns, sheds and outbuildings, making his farm in every way one 
of the best improved and most valuable in the district. His fields are in a high 
state of cultivation and he engages in general farming and in stock-raising. 

< In January 17, 1905, Mr. Spalla married Miss Rosie Bender and to this 
union were born five children, Charles, Mary, Christine, Joseph and Helen, the 
last of whom has passed away. Mr. Spalla is a democrat and his religious faith 
is that of the Catholic church. He is interested and plays his part in the prog- 
ress of his section of Winneshiek county and has proven himself a valuable cit- 
izen and a helpful and kindly neighbor. He is esteemed by all who know him 
and enjoys the respect and confidence of his friends and the general public. 



GERHARD JORGENSON. 

Winneshiek county has been exceptionally fortunate in its public servants, 
having had men of ability and unswerving honesty, who have administered the 
offices of which they have had charge with circumspection and in the interests 
of the public. Such a man is Gerhard Jorgenson, who now serves in the second 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 201 

term as county treasurer, a native of Winneshiek county, where he was born 
October i, 1878, a son of Hans and Sarah (Lien) Jorgenson, the father a native 
of Norway and the mother of this county- Hans Jorgenson came to Winneshiek 
county in 1871, when twenty years of age, and buying land in Springfield town- 
ship engaged in agricultural pursuits. Ever since that time he has been success- 
ful in the operation of his land and now, at the age of sixty-two years, owns one 
of the finest farms in his neighborhood. The mother is also living at the age of 
sixty-three years. 

Gerhard Jorgenson was reared under the parental roof and educated in the 
schools of the neighborhood and the Decorah Institute, from which he was 
graduated with the class of 1898. Before and after his graduation, however, he 
taught school for a period of about seven years. A man well fitted for the 
office, he was then appointed deputy county treasurer and served in that position 
for seven years, when in 1909 he was elected county treasurer, administering 
his office with such ability and giving such satisfaction that in March, 19 12, he 
was reelected by the people. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Jorgenson has always taken a deep 
interest in public and political matters and has given much of his time to projects 
undertaken for the betterment of public conditions. His political affiliation is 
with the republican party and ever since coming of age he has given his stanch 
support to that organization. Fraternally he is connected with the Benevolent 
Protective Order of Elks and the Owls, while for purely social reasons he holds 
membership in the Norske Selskab Club, where he meets men who, like him, have 
sprung from the Norseland. Yet a young man, the beginning of Mr. Torgenson's 
career promises well and there are many more contests open to him equally 
honorable and worthy, which hold forth conspicuous rewards for one of his 
industry, common sense and intelligence. 



JOHN O. DAHLE. 



Among the progressive and practical farmers who have during the past 
quarter of a century made tangible and substantial contributions to the agri- 
cultural development of Winneshiek county is numbered John O. Dahle, who 
owns and operates one hundred and sixty-five acres on section 16, Madison 
township. This is a valuable and well improved property and constitutes the 
farm upon which he was born. February 7, 1863, his parents being Ole and 
Aase (Hellen) Dahle, of whom further mention is made elsewhere in this 
work. 

John O. Dahle was reared upon the homestead and in his youth divided his 
time between attendance at district school and work in the cultivation of the 
fields. He became thoroughly familiar with the details of farm operation and 
after his father's death conducted the property in the interests of his mother, 
who made her home thereon until she passed away in 1886. Mr. Dahle has 
never left the home farm which he now owns and which owes a great deal of 
its present attractive appearance and excellent condition to his well directed and 
practical efforts. It comprises two hundred acres, lying on section 16, Madison 



202 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

township, and is provided with excellent improvements, having a good residence 
and substantial barns and outbuildings. 

On the 4th of November, 1896, Mr. Dahle was united in marriage to Miss 
Gertie Helgeson, a daughter of Helge and Clarissa Helgeson, natives of Norway, 
who came to America and at an early date settled in Winneshiek county, where 
the father engaged in farming until his death, which occurred July 2, 1902. He 
was survived by his wife until October, 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Dahle have six 
children: Cora, aged sixteen; Homer, fourteen; Joseph, twelve; Dora, nine; 
Edith, four; and Oscar, two. One other child born to their union died in 
infancy. 

Mr. Dahle is a devout member of the Lutheran church and he gives his 
political allegiance to the republican party, taking an intelligent interest in public 
affairs without being active as an office seeker. He is a man of many sterling 
qualities of character and in the community where his entire life has been spent 
holds the respect of his associates and the regard and esteem of many friends. 



HANS C. HTERLEID. 



Various important corporate interests profit by the cooperation of Hans 
C. Hjerleid. He is recognized as a forceful business man who forms his plans 
readilv and is determined in their execution. No obstacles are allowed to bar 
his path if they can be overcome by persistent and earnest effort and thus he 
has gradually worked his way upward until he now has important business con- 
nections in Decorah and this part of the state. He is the cashier of the 
National Bank of Decorah and figures prominently in other connections. His 
birth occurred in Jackson county, Wisconsin, in 1863, his parents being Syver 
and Helene Hjerleid, natives of Norway. The father came to America in 1852 
and in 1854 purchased a farm in Springfield township, Jackson county, Wiscon- 
sin, which property is now owned by the Hjerleid Homestead Company. He 
was married in Chicago in i860. 

In the country schools near his father's home Hans C. Hjerleid pursued his 
early education and afterward spent two years as a student in the high school 
at Black River Falls, Wisconsin. He was afterward graduated from the Gem 
City Business College at Quincy, Illinois, and thus qualified for life's practical 
and responsible business duties. In his youthful days he worked upon his 
father's farm, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to 
the lot of the agriculturist. After pursuing his commercial course he secured 
the position of bookkeeper in the general store of Thompson & Johnson Brothers 
at Cresco, Iowa, where he remained for four years. He afterward spent eight 
years in the Cresco Union Savings Bank and has since been continuously con- 
nected with financial interests. In 18117 he became one of the founders of the 
National Bank of Decorah, of which he has since been cashit ■ and thus has 
active voice in its management and shaping its policy. His name is indeed a 
prominent one in financial circles in the northern part of the Mississippi valley, 
for he has extended his efforts into various fields and in all places his worth 
and business ability are recognized. He is the president of the Home Bank 




HANS C. HJERLEID 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 205 

of Blair at Blair, Wisconsin ; president of the Coon Valley State Bank at Coon 
Valley, Wisconsin ; a director of the Trempealeau Valley State Bank at Tay- 
lor, Wisconsin, the State Bank of Bowman at Bowman, North Dakota, the 
Bank of Scranton at Scranton, North Dakota, the First State Bank at Mineral 
Springs, North Dakota; and president of the Hjerleid Homestead Company. 
He is thoroughly acquainted with all phases of the banking business and so 
directs his interests and activities that splendid results have accrued. 

On the ist of January, 1889, Mr. Hjerleid was united in marriage to Miss 
Caroline Hamre, a daughter of R. K. Hamre. Their children are Helene, Ray- 
mond and Gavin. The family attend the Lutheran church. Fraternally Mr. 
Hjerleid is connected with the Masons and the Elks. He has always lived in 
the upper Mississippi valley and possesses the spirit of enterprise and progress 
which has been the dominant factor in the upbuilding of this section of the 
country. He possesses strong, sturdy qualities and admirable characteristics 
and his well spent life, in which his labors have been intelligently directed, has 
brought to him gratifying and commendable success. In his vocabulary there 
is no such word as fail and the methods that he has pursued have never been 
such as seek or require disguise. 



WILLIAM F. PILGRIM. 

William F. Pilgrim is one of the younger men who is finding his fortune in 
the soil of Winneshiek county, owning a fine property of one hundred and sixty 
acres on section 14. Madison township. He was born in Clay county, this state, 
in February, 1875, and is a son of Charles W. and Nancy E. (Boyer) Pilgrim, 
of whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work. He was reared and 
educated in Winneshiek county, having come to this part of Iowa as a child, and 
after completing the course in the public schools of Ridgeway, supplemented this 
by a course of Valder's Business College in Decorah. He remained with his 
parents until he was twenty-five years of age and his father then gave him one 
hundred acres of land on section 14, Madison township. To this he afterward 
added a tract of fifty acres which he purchased from his brother and another 
ten-acre tract, owning today one hundred and sixty acres of well improved 
land. He has operated it since that time and upon it has made substantial im- 
provements, erecting all of the buildings with the exception of the house. He 
is a stockholder in the Farmers Hog Buyers Company of Decorah and is well 
known and favorably regarded in business circles. 

In January, 1900, Mr. Pilgrim was united in marriage to Miss Anna A. 
Elwick. a daughter of John and Mary (Johns) Elwick, natives of England. The 
father came to this country about the year 1863 and turned his attention to farm- 
ing in Decorah township, operating an excellent property near Decorah for the 
remainder of his life. He passed away in 1907, having survived his wife one 
year. Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim have adopted two children, Harold, aged twelve, 
and Mildred, aged nine. 

Mr. Pilgrim is a devout member of the Methodist church and is a republican 
in his political beliefs. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Masons and the 



206 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Modern Woodmen of America, and is well known in the local lodges of both 
organizations. A resident of Winneshiek county since his childhood, he is widely 
known within its borders, and the substantial qualities which he has displayed 
in his business and social relations have gained him a high place in the regard 
and good-will of his fellow citizens. 



KNUDT L. GRINDELAND. 

Knudt L. Grindeland is entitled to a place of distinction not only as one of 
the most substantial farmers of Highland township, Winneshiek county, but 
deserves especial mention for the sen ices which he rendered his adopted country 
during the Civil war. Highland township has been his home ever since his child- 
hood days and for thirty-five years he has been making his home on his two 
hundred acre farm, which he still cultivates. He was born May 3. 1846, in 
Norway. The father died in that country when his son. Knudt. was only four 
vears of age and the mother subsequently came with her children to the United 
States, accompanied by her father, llalstine. and her brother Albert. Coura- 
geously she cast behind her associations and friendships to seek in a new land of 
greater opportunities a home for her family in which her children might more 
easily gain financial independence. However, it was not given her to witness 
even the beginning of the progress made by her family, for she died in Illinois 
only eight days after arriving in that state, the cause of her demise being cholera. 
Knudt L. Grindeland has therefore no recollection of either one of his parents. 
To them were born two children : Knudt L., of this review ; and Caroline, tht 
wife of Christian Leen, who resides in Canada. 

Knudt L. Grindeland and his sister were reared by the grandather and an 
uncle. They remained in Illinois for about a year and then came to Winneshiek 
county, where they located in Highland township. Mr. Grindeland has ever since 
made his residence here. In 1863, on July 9, he enlisted with Company F of the 
Ninth Iowa Cavalry and served until the close of the war. being mustered out at 
Little Rock, Arkansas, with his company on February 3, 1866. He was with 
his regiment all the time and participated in all its engagements except during 
the time when they were stationed in Benton Barracks at St. Louis, at which 
time Mr. Grindeland was in the hospital. He enlisted under the name of Knudt 
L. Knudtson, but after he returned from the war he found so many Norwegians 
of that name in the neighborhood that he adopted as his family name that by 
which the home farm in Norway was known. Mr. Grindeland has followed 
agricultural pursuits during all his life and has resided on his present farm for 
about thirty-five years. The farm now comprises two hundred acres. He had 
another farm of sixty-five acres, of which he has disposed. His lands are under 
high cultivation and all modern improvements can be found thereon. He' en- 
gages in general farming, giving part of his attention to stock-raising. His 
son, Albert K., acquired by purchase eighty acres of land from our subject and 
he now also operates the home farm, relieving his father from the more arduous 
duties of active labor. 



PAST AND PRESENT OE WINNESHIEK COUNTY 207 

On June 22, 1S70, Mr. Grindeland was united in marriage to Miss Isabelle 
Staen, who was born in Highland township, this county. June 21, 1853, and is a 
daughter of Ole and Julia Staen. natives of Norway, the parents being among the 
first settlers of Highland township, securing their lands from the government. 
The father has passed away but the mother still makes her home on the same farm 
on which they first settled. Mr. and Mrs. Grindeland became the parents of ten 
children: Julia, who was the wife of Theodore Sanders and has passed away, 
leaving three children — two daughters, Idella and Mildred, who make their home 
with our subject, and a son, Carl, who resides with his uncle Eouis ; Louis, a 
resident of Highland township; Emma, the wife of Clifford Rozelle, of Chicago; 
Olof, at home, who served for three years in the regular United States army 
during the pacification of Cuba with the Twenty-eighth United States Infantry, 
being two years and three months in Cuba and nine months in the United States ; 
Albert, who takes care of the home farm ; Bennie, who died at the age of four 
years ; Clara, who passed away when sixteen years of age ; and Cora, Bennie 
(second of the name) and Jeanette, at home. 

Mr. Grindeland has exhibited the same patriotic spirit which led him to 
defend the Union cause during all his life and ever gives his support to worthy 
public enterprises. He is considered one of the most substantial men in his 
neighborhood and enjoys the high respect and esteem of all who know him. He 
is a self-made man in the most noble sense of the word and is admired as much 
for the qualities which have made his success possible as for the substantial 
position which he has made for himself in life. 



ANDREW T. ISTAD. 



No farmer in Winneshiek county has met with greater or more deserved 
success in agricultural pursuits than Andrew T. Istad, whose fine property com- 
prises one hundred and sixty acres and lies on section 27, Madison township. 
Since he was seven years of age Mr. Istad has lived in Iowa and since 1890 has 
owned and operated the farm upon which he now resides. He was born in 
Norway, on the 13th of May, 1862. and is a son of Tollef and Engrid (Vik) Istad, 
also natives of that country, who came to Winneshiek county in 1869. The 
father rented land in Madison township and operated his original farm until 
1876, when he purchased another in Madison township. His crops failing 
the first year, he sold the property and afterward rented land for six years. 
At the end of that time he purchased one hundred and sixty acres on sections 
22, 23, 26 and 27, Madison township, and this he operated for seven years, 
selling it in order to go into partnership with his two sons. Together they 
bought two hundred and forty acres on sections 22, 23, 26 and 27, but the father 
was never active in the conduct of this place, although he still makes his home 
upon it, being now seventy-seven years of age. His wife has passed away, her 
death having occurred in 1902. 

Andrew T. Istad was seven years of age when he came with his parents to 
America. He was reared and educated in Winneshiek county, attending district 
school and Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. Immediately after laying aside 



208 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

his books he turned his attention to farming, with which he had become familiar 
in his childhood through practical experience upon his father's property. He 
entered into the above mentioned partnership with his father and brother and 
has never since left the homestead, which since [890 he has owned and operated. 
Upon it he has made substantial improvements in buildings and equipment and 
in its cultivation has followed the most practical methods, the property reflecting 
in its neat and attractive appearance his many years of care and labor. Mr. Istad 
owns in addition to it a fine farm in Montana. He is a stockholder in the Farm- 
ers Creamery Company and a stockholder and director in the Farmers Cooper- 
ative Hog Buying Company of Decorah, and his ability is widely recognized in 
business circles. 

In November, 1908, Mr. Istad was united in marriage to Miss Clara Woldt, a 
daughter of Gottlieb and Julia (Meyer) Woldt. natives of Germany. The parents 
came to this country at an early day and the father engaged in farming in Win- 
neshiek county during the remainder of his life. His wife has also passed 
away. Mr. and Mrs. Istad became the parents of one daughter, Bertha Elizabeth, 
aged four. Mrs. Istad passed away in February, 1910. 

Mr. Istad is a devout member of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Decorah. 
He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and served for four 
years as township clerk and did excellent work as assessor for three years. He 
was for a similar period of time secretary of the school board and in 1913 was 
elected president of the board, the cause of education finding in him a loyal and 
practical supporter. A resident of Winneshiek count}' since he was seven years 
of age, Mr. Istad has become widely known in this part of Iowa and his life has 
been such as to merit the confidence and regard which are generally accorded 
him. 



ISAAC W. BRUNT. 



Isaac W. Brunt, who has been a resident of Decorah for the past two decades, 
was for a number of years successfully engaged in the conduct of a drug store 
here but since January, 1911, has acted as secretary of the American Drug & 
Press Association, an association of druggists and newspaper men of the United 
States, which manufactures toilet articles and medicinal preparations. His birth 
occurred at Sigourney, Keokuk county. Iowa, on the 19th of July, 1868, his 
parents being John M. and Mary A. (Davis) Brunt, natives of Indiana. The 
family has been represented in this country for more than two centuries, the first 
of the name coming from the south of England. lohn M. Brunt removed to 
Keokuk county, this state, in an early day and was there engaged in general 
agricultural pursuits, operating a farm for some years and also teaching school. 
He eventually became an engineer and acted as United States deputy survevor, 
his work in this connection covering California. Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon, 
Arizona and New Mexico. Since retiring from the active work of his profes- 
sion he has spent the winters in Kansas City and during the summer seasons 
resides with his son Isaac in Decorah. His wife passed away in 1907. 



PAST A^D PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 209 

Isaac W. Brunt obtained his early education at Sigourney, Iowa, and continued 
his studies at Grand Island, Nebraska, while subsequently the family home was 
established in Lincoln, Kansas, where he was graduated from the high school. 
He then took up the study of chemistry in the University of Kansas at Lawrence 
but before completing the course was enrolled as a student in the Northwestern 
University at Chicago, where he was graduated in pharmacy with the class of 
1893. In that year he came to Decorah, Iowa, and fook charge of the drug store 
of C. Rudolph, in whose service he remained for one month. At the end of that 
time, in association with E. J. Parman, he purchased the establishment of Mr. 
Rudolph and successfully conducted business as senior partner of the firm of 
Brunt & Parman until January, 1 9 1 1 , when he sold his interest to his partner. 
He then became secretary of the American Drug & Press Association and has 
held that important position continuously since, proving an able and valuable offi- 
cial. As above stated, this is an association of druggists and newspaper men 
of the United States and is carried on for the manufacture of toilet articles and 
medicinal preparations. Mr. Brunt is interested in several other enterprises of 
Decorah and has always been an active factor in the work of progress and 
development here. 

On the 10th of June, 1898, Mr. Brunt was united in marriage to Miss Netta 
L. Merrill, her parents being M. H. and Sarah (Hardiman) Merrill, natives of 
New York, who came to Decorah in an early day. Mr. Merrill first followed 
farming but later turned his attention to the lumber and grain business, being 
successfully engaged therein until 1903. The remainder of his life was spent in 
honorable retirement, his demise occurring in February, 1912. His wife was 
called to her final rest in 1893. 

Mr. Brunt is a democrat in his political views and was one of the first demo- 
cratic presidential electors from his district since Franklin Pierce was chosen 
the chief executive of the nation. His fraternal relations are with the Masons, 
the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, while his 
religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Congregational church, to 
which his wife also belongs. They own a commodious and attractive residence at 
No. 504 East Water street. In the field of commercial activity Mr. Brunt has 
made steady advance along substantial lines that has brought him success. 



OLE SANDERSON. 



A native of Lincoln township, Winneshiek county, Ole Sanderson has here 
attained to success and now owns a valuable place of one hundred and twenty 
acres on section 27, to the cultivation of which he gives his entire attention. He 
was born May 28, 1861, and is a son of Kettle and Levina (Brenhofson) Sander- 
son, natives of Norway, who came to America about 1851, locating in Wisconsin 
for one year and then making their home in Glenwood township for an equal 
period of time before coming to Lincoln township, where they settled on sec- 
tion 22. The father was a successful agriculturist, gradually winning financial 
independence, and his death occurred on Christmas day, 191 1. The mother sur- 
vives him and now makes her home with a brother, being over eighty years of 



210 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

age. The father made a creditable military record during the Civil war, serving 
for three years with Company K, Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. To 
their union were born seven children: John, of Willow City, North Dakota; 
Christina, who married Alt' Alfson. of Cyrus, Minnesota; Annie, deceased; 
Austin, of Willow City, North Dakota ; Ole, of this review ; Benjamin, of Lin- 
coln township; and Louisa, the wife of Arthur Bradley, of Ambrose, North 
Dakota. 

Ole Sanderson grew to manhood upon the home farm attending the schools 
of the neighborhood and devoting his leisure hours to the work of the fields. 
After becoming of age he rented the homestead for four years and then bought 
it but later traded the same for his present farm, comprising one hundred and 
twentv acres on section 27. His improvements are substantial, his buildings 
kept in good repair and his equipment is up-to-date and in every way sufficient 
for his needs. He engages in general farming and stock-raising, deriving a 
gratifying income from these pursuits. 

On November 30, 1884. Mr. Sanderson married Miss Lena Johnson and to 
this union were born ten children; Carl, of Thief River Falls, Minnesota; Anton, 
deceased ; Nettie, of Devon, Montana ; and Roy, Ethel, Sarah. Fred, Thelma, 
Verna and Alton, at home. In his political associations Mr. Sanderson is a 
republican, stanchly upholding the principles of his party at the polls and giving 
his support to its candidates. That he enjoys the esteem of his fellow citizens is 
evident in his election to the offices of township trustee and school clerk, both 
of which he now holds. He is an active and helpful member of the Lutheran 
church, in the work of which he takes a great interest. 



G. E. SOLAND. 



Among the prominent and progressive farmers and substantia! business 
men of Winneshiek county is numbered G. E. Soland, owner of a fine prop- 
erty of five hundred and eighty acres lying partly in Frankville and partly in 
Springfield townships. He is connected also with a number of representative 
financial and commercial enterprises in Decorah and Nordness and bv constant 
application and unremitting industry has surrounded himself with an enviable 
degree of prosperity. He was born in Springfield township, Winneshiek county, 
on the 15th of July, 1854, and is a son of Engebret and Helene (Clement) 
( iulbranson Soland, natives of Norway. The parents came to America and 
settled in Winneshiek county, Iowa, in pioneer times, the father buying land 
in Frankville township, which he continued to develop and improve for sev- 
eral years. After he sold it he came to Springfield township and purchased 
one hundred and sixty acres of raw land, which he set about clearing and 
improving, later adding to his holdings from time to time until he owned five 
hundred and sixty acres, all in a high state of cultivation. This fine farm he 
developed for the remainder of his life, becoming known as one of the repre- 
sentative and successful agriculturists of this region. He died December 6, 
1900, having survived his wife since 1880. 



CO 

c 



c 




PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 213 

G. E. Soland was reared and educated in Springfield township, attending 
district school and afterward the Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. He 
learned farming by practical work upon his father's homestead and after the 
latter's death the estate was divided, each son receiving two hundred and 
eight)' acres of fine land. Mr. Soland has since added to his holdings, owning 
now five hundred and eighty-eight acres, half of which lies in Frankville 
township and the remainder in Springfield township. Mr. Soland has not 
feared earnest and persistent labor, continuing the work of developing his 
property along modern lines and making upon it substantial improvements, the 
farm being today one of the finest in this section. The buildings are all upon 
the land lying on section 12, Springfield township, and the latest improved 
farm machinery has been installed to facilitate the work of the fields. In 
addition to his farming operations Mr. Soland is also vice president and a 
director of the Decorah State Bank and a stockholder in the Nordness Creamery 
Company and the Nordness Telephone Company, and his business interests 
are managed in a farsighted, able and progressive way. 

On the 25th of April, 1878, Mr. Soland was united in marriage to Miss 
Magdalena Egge, a daughter of Erick and Helena Egge, natives of Norway. 
Mr. Soland's first wife passed away in 1885, leaving one daughter, Ella, who 
married Olaus Viste, a farmer in Decorah township. On the 3d of April, 
1888, Mr. Soland was again married, his second wife being Miss Bertha Brod- 
land, a daughter of Hans Brodland, a native of Norway, who never came to 
America. To this union have been born eight children: Lena, the wife of 
George Wefflin, who is developing one of his father-in-law's farms ; Amelia ; 
Marie; Engebret ; Clara; Hans; Etta; and one child who died in infancy. 

Mr. Soland is a member of the Lutheran church and gives his political 
allegiance to the republican party, having rendered the township excellent 
service as trustee for six years. While his life has been quietly passed, it con- 
tains nevertheless lessons of value, for it shows what can be accomplished by 
a determined and persistent spirit and honorable dealings. He now occupies 
a position among the prosperous citizens of Winneshiek county and the most 
envious cannot grudge him his success — so worthily has it been won. 



CARL L. LARSON. 



One of the foremost industries of Decorah, Iowa, is the Lutheran Publish- 
ing Company, and one of the oldest, most faithful and most capable employes 
of that large institution is Carl L. Larson, foreman of the extensive bookbinding 
department of this publishing house. Born in Christiania, the beautiful capital 
of the kingdom of Norway, November 25, 1847, ne is a son of Christian and Mary 
(Hanson) Larson, natives of the northland. The father was a musician, an art 
which he always followed in the old country, where he passed away in 1872, 
his wife surviving until 1878. 

Carl L. Larson was reared in his native land and received his education in the 
excellent schools of his native country. He there subsequently learned the book- 
binder's trade, and when in 1868 he came to America he located at Madison, 



i-i>l. n— 1 o 



214 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Wisconsin, where he followed his vocation for two years, at the end of which 
period he returned to Norway, there remaining two years. In 1873. however, 
he returned to America, seeking the large opportunities held out by the middle 
west, and located in Decorah. where he entered the employ of a Mr. Isberg, 
with whom he remained for four years, his employer selling his interests to the 
Lutheran Publishing Company in 1S77 and Mr. Larson remaining with the new 
concern. For thirty-six years he has faithfully fulfilled his various duties and 
has gradually risen to the position of foreman of the large bookbinding depart- 
ment of this important publishing house, having charge of a large number of em- 
ployes and directing the many operations of the department. 

In August, 1867, Mr. Larson was united in marriage to Miss Josephine 
Pederson, a daughter of Lucas and Anna Pederson. both natives of Norway, 
where they spent their entire lives. Air. and Airs. Larson were the parents of 
ten children: Frank; Louis; William; Hjalmar; Sophia, the wife of William B. 
Ingvoldstad. of whom more extended mention is made in another part of this 
work; Carl; Herman; and three, who died in infancy. Airs. Larson passed 
away in 1887 and in 1891 Air. Larson wedded again, his second union being with 
Miss Paulina Pederson, a sister of his first wife. She also passed away in 1910. 

Politically Air. Larson is a republican and his religious adherence is given 
to the Lutheran church. At one time he owned residential property in Decorah, 
but of late has disposed of his holding and now makes his home with his daughter 
and son-in-law, Air. and Airs. Ingvoldstad. He is well known and popular in 
Decorah. where he has made his home for many years, and where he is highly 
esteemed and respected for his sterling traits of character. 



OLE O. HOVE. 



One of Winneshiek county's most able, progressive and successful farmers is 
Ole O. Hove, whose fine property of three hundred and twenty acres lies on sec- 
tions 26 and 2-, Aladison township, and is one of the best improved and best 
managed farms in this vicinity. Air. Hove was born in Norway, on the 17th of 
Alarch, 1853, and is a son of Ole and Barbara (Hedalen) Hove, also natives of 
that country. The parents came to America in June, 1866. and located at once 
in Winneshiek county, Iowa, the father purchasing land in Aladison township. 
To the development and improvement of this property he turned his attention, 
but he was unfortunate enough to take up his residence here at the time of the 
great failure of the wheat crops and he was forced to abandon his farming 
operations. Afterward he made his home with his children until his death, 
which occurred in the fall of 1892. He had long survived his wife, who passed 
away in 1869. 

Ole O. Hove was thirteen years of age when he came to America and he had 
practically completed his education in the public schools of Norway, having at- 
tended district school in Winneshiek county only five days. He afterward went 
out to work as a farm hand for three years, and he worked in the employ of 
others and for his father and brothers until he was twenty-four years of age, 
when he rented land and turned his attention to its operation. For a number of 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 215 

years thereafter he continued thus but he finally purchased eighty acres on sec- 
tion 22, Madison township. This formed the nucleus of his present fine property, 
for to it he afterward added one hundred and sixty acres lying on sections 26 
and 27 and eighty acres on section 15, his holdings now comprising three hun- 
dred and twenty acres of well improved and valuable land. In its cultivation he 
follows the most practical and progressive methods, and his labors have been 
rewarded by a gratifying degree of success, which places him in the front rank 
of progressive and able agriculturists. 

In 1875 Mr. Hove was united in marriage to Miss Anna Greinstvet. a daughter 
of Aslak and Susanna (Tvedt) Greinstvet, natives of Norway, who came to 
America about 1870 and located in Wisconsin, where they spent one year. At the 
end of that time they came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and here the father 
farmed for a number of years, later moving into Worth county, where he spent 
the remainder of his life. Mr. and Mrs. Hove have become the parents of two 
children : Ole, who lives at home ; and Albert, a farmer in Madison township. 

Mr. Hove is a stockholder in the Farmers Creamery Company and the 
Farmers Cooperative Hog Buying Company of Decorah. He is a member of 
the Lutheran church and is a republican in his political beliefs, interested in the 
growth and progress of the community where he has so long resided but not 
active as an office seeker. He is a man of sterling qualities of character, in- 
dustrious and enterprising and. well known throughout the township for his 
uprightness and honesty, he enjoys the respect and confidence of his neighbors 
and friends. 



LUTHER O. REED. 



Luther O. Reed, the proprietor of an up-to-date livery stable at No. no 
Washington street in Decorah, is one of the enterprising and prosperous young 
business men of the city and is likewise well known in fraternal circles. His 
birth occurred in Burr Oak, Winneshiek county, on the 29th of September, 1877, 
his parents being Luther and Celia L. ( Kellam ) Reed, the former a native of 
Allamakee county, Iowa, and the latter of Winneshiek county, this state. Luther 
Reed, Sr., came to this county with his parents when a lad of eleven years and 
as soon as his age permitted began farming on a farm of three hundred acres 
near Burr Oak, which he improved and operated until 1901. During the past 
twelve years he has lived in honorable retirement at Decorah. In 1906 he was 
elected constable and has since served in that capacity, discharging the duties 
devolving upon him in a highly commendable and conscientious manner. His 
wife was called to her final rest in the year 1901. 

Luther O. Reed was reared and educated in this county, attending the district 
schools and also the public schools of Decorah. Subsequently he entered the 
State University at Iowa City and in that institution pursued the scientific and 
law course. Returning home, he worked on his father's farm for two years 
and subsequently spent a year writing insurance policies. He then embarked 
in the implement business in association with F. N. May, the enterprise being 
conducted under the firm style of Reed & May for four years, at the end of which 



216 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

period the establishment was destroyed by tire. It was at that time that Mr. Reed 
purchased of Robert Simpson the livery stable and stock at Xo. no Washington 
street and, taking charge of the business, has since conducted the same with 
gratifying success. The stable is a two-story brick structure and contains some 
of the finest vehicles in Decorah, its proprietor being accorded an extensive and 
well merited patronage. 

( In the 30th of December. IW03. Mr. Reed was joined in wedlock to Miss 
Mary Updegraft'. a daughter of William and Lydia (Shear) Updegraff, the 
former a native of Mount Pleasant, Ohio, and the latter of Columbia county, 
New York. William Updegraff came to Winneshiek county in an early day and 
accumulated considerable property, owning six farms near Decorah. His demise 
occurred in 1900 but his widow still resides here. Our subject and his wife have 
one daughter, Edith, who is now seven years of age. The family home is on 
West Broadway. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Reed has supported 
the men and measures of the republican party. He is a valued member of the 
city fire department. Fraternally he is identified with the Yeomen, the Home- 
steaders, the Elks and the Masons, belonging to the blue lodge, chapter, com- 
mander) and shrine. On July 7. [912, at Portland. Oregon, he was appointed 
district deputv grand exalted ruler of the I'.enevolent Protective Order of Elks 
and has since been made an honorary life member. He has always made his 
home in Winneshiek county and is widely and favorably known within its bor- 
ders, the circle of his friends being almost coextensive with the circle of his 
acquaintances. 



GE( )RGE D. VINE. 



George D. Vine is one of the youngest representatives of farming interest-, in 
Winneshiek county, owning a tract of eighty acres, located on section 36, Madison 
township. He was born on the farm, of which he is now the owner. June 24. 
[871, a son of John and Anna (Johnson) Nine, the former a native of England^ 
while the latter claimed Norway as the place of her nativity. John Vine emi- 
grated to the new world in the '50s. first locating in New York, where he re- 
mained for several vears. He finally continued his journey westward, purchas- 
ing a farm in Madison township, paying the usual government price for the 
same. His remaining years were devoted to the cultivation and improvement 
of this tract, and here his death occurred in February, 1898. The mother sur- 
vived for many years, passing away in March, 1910. 

George D. Vine was reared in the usual manner of farm lads, working in the 
fields during the spring and summer months, while in the winter seasons he 
pursued his education in the district schools near his father's home. He has 
always lived under the parental roof, with the exception of three summers, when 
he was employed by others at farm labor. Subsequent to his mother's death, 
he purchased the home farm and has since made some improvements. He is 
practical and progressive in his methods of labor and is classed with the enter- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 217 

prising and industrious agriculturists of this section of Iowa. He is a stock- 
holder in the Farmers Hog Buying Company of Decorah. 

Mr. Vine is a republican in his political views, while in religious faith he is 
a Lutheran. His fraternal relations are with the Maccabees. He has a wide 
acquaintance in Winneshiek county, where he has spent his entire life, and he is 
admired by all for his sterling traits of character and his honesty in all business 
dealings. 



FRANK J. HELWIG. 



Frank j. Helwig is a successful representative of industrial interests in 
Decorah as the proprietor of a cigar factory at No. 218 East Water street, which 
he has conducted for the past sixteen years. His birth occurred at Festina, 
Winneshiek county, on the 30th of September. 1863, his parents being Conrad 
and Crvcinthia (Welte) Helwig, the former a native of Prussia and the latter 
of Austria. Conrad Helwig emigrated to the United States about 1857, locat- 
ing in Missouri, where he remained for three years. On the expiration of that 
period lie removed to Guttenberg, Iowa, and at the end of a year came to Festina, 
Winneshiek county, where he was engaged in mercantile pursuits, until 1866. 
In that year he embarked in business for himself but in 1873 disposed of his 
interests and spent the remainder of his life in honorable retirement at Ossian, 
passing away in 1893. The period of his residence in this county covered almost 
a third of a century and he enjoyed an extensive and favorable acquaintance 
within its borders. His widow now makes her home with a son and three 
daughters at Ossian, Winneshiek county. 

Frank J. Helwig obtained his education in the public and Catholic schools 
of Ossian and after putting aside his text-books learned the cigar maker's trade, 
mastering the same at the early age of thirteen. He was employed at that trade 
until the fall of 1891 and then went to Pipestone, Minnesota, where he con- 
ducted a cigar factory until 1895. In that year he removed to Sioux Falls, 
South Dakota, and operated a cigar factory in partnership with N. C. Goedel 
until 1897. when he sold out and came to Decorah, Iowa, here opening the factory 
which he has conducted continuously since. He has made a specialty of the 
cigar called the Lincoln and manufactured and sold two hundred and eighty- 
five thousand of this brand in one year — a record which will be broken during 
the present year. Four people are employed in the conduct of the business. Mr. 
Helwig is also a talented musician, has gained an enviable reputation as a viplin- 
ist and is the director of an orchestra which is in demand at all of the local 
dances and theatrical performances. 

In September, 1889. Mr. Helwig was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth 
Hovey. her parents being John and Bernice ( Wangsness ) Hovev, natives of 
Norway. Emigrating to the United States. John Hovey located in Wisconsin 
and subseouently in Winneshiek county, Iowa, settling here before the railroad 
w-s built to Calmar. He operated a farm until 1896 and then purchased a home 
where he lived retired until called to his final rest in 1899. His wife 



in 



rv~ - 



passed away in 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Helwig have two children, namely : Freda 



218 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

C, who is twenty-three years of age and follows the profession of school teach- 
ing at Clarksville, Iowa; and Ruth B., aged twenty-one, who, like her sister, is 
a graduate of the Decorah high school. The latter is studying the violin at the 
Conservatory of Music in Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated in June of this 

year. 

Mr. Helwig is a democrat in politics and ably served as a member of the city 
council for six years. He is a member of several well known fraternal organiza- 
tions. His wife and daughters are members of the Lutheran church. He is 
a man of social nature, of genial disposition and excellent business ability, and 
has won for himself a favorable place in the public regard, having many friends 
in the county of his nativity. 



LUMAN L. CADWELL. 

Luman L. Cadwell, a venerable and highly respected citizen of Decorah, has 
made his home here for about three decades and for some years was identified 
with financial interests as cashier of the Citizens Savings Bank. He is the 
proud possessor of a medal which was awarded him by congress for gallantry 
in action during the Civil war and for the past thirteen years has served as com- 
mander of Colonel Hughes Post, G. A. R. His birth occurred in Binghamton, 
Broome county, New York, on the 22d of May, 1836, his parents being Nathan 
and Eliza (Richards) Cadwell, who were natives of Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut respectively. The father removed to New York in a very early day 
and engaged in the hotel business, while subsequently he followed railroading 
for a number of years. At the time of his demise he was living retired at 
Sparta, Wisconsin, his death occurring on the 12th of May, 1884. His wife 
passed away at Melrose, Wisconsin, on the 1st of December, 1862. 

Luman L. Cadwell was reared and educated in New York and Wisconsin 
and afterward devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits for a short 
time. Subsequently he entered the service of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad in 
Tennessee as a conductor, acting as such until the beginning of the Civil war. 
Returning to his native state, he enlisted in 1862, at Schenectady, becoming a 
member of Company B, Second New York Cavalry, serving with that command 
until November, 1865, and being mustered out at Albany, New York. He was 
wounded several times and barely escaped with his life. He made a splendid 
record as a brave and valiant soldier and was awarded a medal by congress for 
gallantry in action — an honor of which he may well be proud, for there are only 
two other similar medals in the state. In 1912 he was brevetted major by 
Governor Dix of New York. For the past thirteen years he has served as 
commander of Colonel Hughes Post, G. A. R., and on the 19th of December, 
1912, was appointed aide-de-camp to Alfred B. Beers, commander in chief of 
the Grand Army. 

When the countrv no longer needed his military aid Mr. Cadwell made his 
way to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and entered the employ of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Crossing the Mississippi river, he began 
running a train on the Iowa .and Dakota division. Before and after the war he 




LUMAN L. CADWELL 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 221 

was in the railroad service for twenty-six years, running a passenger tram 
during twenty-one years of that time. In 1883 he abandoned railroad work 
and came to Decorah, Iowa, being here identified with the Citizens Savings 
Bank in the capacity of cashier for some years. He is now spending the evening 
of life in well earned ease, having accumulated a handsome competence by dint 
of good management and wisely directed effort. 

On the 1 6th of September, i860, Mr. Cadwell was united in marriage to 
Miss Anna Johnson, a daughter of Nelson and Sarah ( Streeter ) Johnson, 
natives of Massachusetts. The father was a machinist by trade and followed 
that occupation for a number of years. At the time of his retirement he came 
to Decorah and made his home with our subject until his demise, which occurred 
in 1880. His wife passed away two years later. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cadwell 
were born two children, namely: Herbert H., who passed away in 1904 at the 
age of thirty-four years ; and Bessie, who died in infancy. They adopted a 
daughter, Grace, who is now the wife of George Shulze and resides in Decorah. 
Mr. and Mrs. Shulze have two children. Katherine and Nathan, who are thir- 
teen and eleven years of age respectively. In 1876 Mr. Cadwell erected a hand- 
some and modern two-story brick residence at No. 815 Maple avenue, which 
has since remained his home. 

In politics Mr. Cadwell is a stanch republican, having ever supported the 
party which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil 
war. He served as a member of the school board for twenty-four years and 
during a part of that time acted as its president. He is now serving for the 
sixth year as a member of the city council, the value of his labors in this con- 
nection being widely acknowledged. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, 
belonging to the blue lodge, chapter, commandery and Eastern Star. His name 
is also on the membership rolls of the Knights of Pythias. In religious faith 
he is a Unitarian. He has now passed the seventy-seventh milestone of life's 
journey and enjoys the respect and veneration which should ever be accorded 
one who has traveled thus far on this earthly pilgrimage and whose career has 
been at all times upright and honorable. 



EDWARD THORSON. 



On April 4, 1913, there departed this life one of the foremost agriculturists 
of Highland township, Winneshiek county, and one of its pioneers. A son of 
Norway, Edward Thorson had crossed the deep to the United States in 1861 
and soon after his arrival enlisted with the colors of his newly adopted country, 
valiantly giving his services to the Union cause until the close of the war, when 
he came to Highland township, where success came to him in the form of a five 
hundred and sixty acre farm, to the cultivation of which he gave his sole atten- 
tion for nearly half a century. Mr. Thorson not only gained, however, material 
success but also succeeded in winning the confidence and esteem of his neighbors, 
and universal opinion conceded him a place as one of the foremost men of his 
neighborhood. His death was therefore the occasion of deep and sincere mourn- 



222 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

ing and brought grief not only to his family but to the many who called him 
friend. 

Edward Thorson was born near Namsos, Norway, on October 10, 1835, a 
son of Thor and Karan Selness, who spent their entire lives in their native 
country on the family farm. They were the parents of five children : Nicolai, 
who resides in Hesper township; Johanna Flach, of Norway; Otto, of High- 
land township ; Edward, of this review ; and John. Edward Thorson came to 
the United States in 1861. He had always used this name and as such enlisted 
from Wisconsin, where he had located, for service in the Civil war on November 
10, 1861, taking the colors with Company I of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteer 
Infantrv. In later years the family adopted the name of Selness, which had 
been in use in Norway. Mr. Thorson valiantly fought for the Union cause 
until the close of the war. participating in all the engagements in which his reg- 
iment took part. He located in Highland township, Winneshiek count}-, in 1865, 
and here spent the remainder of his life on his farm. At the time of his death, 
which occurred on April 4, 1913, he owned one of the most valuable farm prop- 
erties in the county, comprising five hundred and sixty acres of land in one 
body and located on sections 9, 10 and 16, Highland township. His long years 
of labor, close attention to matters at hand and his systematic methods enabled 
him to make his farm one of the best cultivated and most profitable in the 
section. He built a substantial brick house in iNNf> and made all the other 
improvements, including barns, sheds and outhouses, there being nothing on the 
land when he came in possession of it. He began his agricultural pursuits with 
a quarter section and subsequently increased his holdings as his resources per- 
mitted. On June 6, 1906, a cyclone devastated about ten thousand dollars 
worth of property on his place, including two barns and a part of the brick 
house, besides doing damage to other buildings and to his trees and stock. At 
the time there were three men in the house — Air. Thorson, his son Albert and 
N. P. Thorson. all of whom were injured but none of them seriously. The 
son Albert was taken care of by neighbors and suffered for about two weeks 
before he recovered from his injuries. The rest of the family were fortunately 
away on that day. Hundreds of people for miles around came afterwards to 
view the destruction. A beautiful example of neighborly feeling was exhibited 
on that occasion, for over a hundred of the people living in the neighborhood 
came to his place and donated their labor in helping him to repair the damages. 
On one day there were as many as fifty who helped him to build up what was 
destroyed by the elements, and among them were many who themselves had 
suffered, even if not so severely as our subject, who was the heaviest loser 
in that castastrophe. 

On July 25, 1872, .Mr. Thorson was united in marriage to Miss Anna 
Thorson, who was born in Norway on July 14, 1849. She was brought to this 
county by her parents in 1853, at the age of four years, and has resided here 
ever since. She is a daughter of Paul and Thorber Thorson, both of whom 
passed away in Winneshiek county. They were the parents of four sons and 
three daughters, of whom five children are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Thorson 
had seven children: Thomas, of Highland township; Petra, the wife of T. S. 
Quandahl, of Allamakee county ; Albert, who now owns and operates the home- 
stead ; Julia, who married H. E. Burtness, of Houston county. Minnesota; 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 223 

Clara, at home; Thea, the wife of J. P. Ouandahl, of Allamakee county; and 
Edgar, at home. Mrs. Thorson and all of her children enjoy the highest 
esteem and respect in this neighborhood, worthily carrying the name which has 
long stood for good qualities of mind and character in this section. 

Mr. Thorson was a lifelong republican and although he never became actively 
interested in politics to the extent of accepting public office, always took a laud- 
able interest in matters affecting the public welfare. He was a member of the 
Lutheran church and active in its work. He met his comrades from the battle- 
fields of yore through the medium of the Grand Army of the Republic, being a 
member of the post at Decorah. A thoroughly reliable man, a kind and con- 
siderate neighbor, a good husband and a loving father, his memory is perpetuated 
in what he achieved along agricultural lines through long years of wearisome 
toil. As the years passed he became one of the substantial men of the county 
and became one of those who stood highest in the affection of all who knew 
him. His tenacity in pursuing a goal should be an inspiration to the younger 
generation and his memory is a heritage to his widow and children which is 
to be higher prized than the worldly possessions he left them. His name deserves 
a high place on the roll of honor of those who did much in building up the 
agricultural interests of Winneshiek county and his name will therefore ever be 
connected with its history. 



NELS O. HAUGEN. 



Since 1884 Nels O. Haugen has lived upon the farm which he now occupies, 
on section 35. Madison township, and his practical and progressive methods 
have brought it to a high state of cultivation, making it one of the finest agri- 
cultural properties in this vicinity. He was born in Norway on the 20th of 
May, 1855, and is a son of Ole and Mary (Peterson) Haugen, also natives 
of that country. The father came to America, settling in Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, in 1865, and three years later he purchased forty acres of land in Madi- 
son township, improving this for a number of years. Eventually he added to 
it a quarter section of land adjoining and later an additional eighty acres, all 
lying in Madison township. They are now owned by a brother of the subject 
of this review. The father operated his extensive holdings during the remain- 
der of his life, becoming known as a prosperous, progressive and substantial 
agriculturist. Pie died in 1899 and is survived by his wife, who makes her 
home with her daughter, who resides near Freeport, Iowa. 

Nels O. Haugen was ten years of age when he came with his parents to 
America and the greater part of his education was acquired in the district 
schools of Winneshiek county. In 1884 he married and bought eighty acres 
of land on section 35, Madison township, to which he later added thirty-six acres 
adjoining, this constituting his present farm. The years have brought him pros- 
perity and success, for his methods have always been practical and his energy 
untiring, and the farm today reflects his careful supervision in its neat and 
attractive appearance. 



224 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

On November 6, 1884, Mr. Haugen was united in marriage to Miss Mary 
Tollefson, a daughter of Ole and I'.erit Tollefson. natives of Norway, who came 
to America at an early date, the father engaging in farming in Springfield town- 
ship, Winneshiek county, for a number of years and meeting death through 
asphyxiation in a cistern in 1883. His wife survives him. Mr. and Mrs. 
Haugen are the parents of six children: Ole, aged twenty-seven; Bertha, who 
is twenty-five years of age and who married Julius Clauson, a farmer in this 
county ; Lottie, aged twenty-three ; Inga, twenty-two ; Theodore, nineteen ; and 
Peter, aged sixteen. 

Mr. Haugen is a member of the Lutheran church and his political allegiance 
is given to the republican party. He is a stockholder in the- Farmers Creamery 
Company and the Farmers Cooperative Hog Buying Company of Decorah and 
his ability is widely recognized in business circles. He is a man of many 
sterling traits of character, industrious, progressive and enterprising, and is 
well entitled to classification with the township's most substantial and able 
farmers. 



JOHN HEGG. 

John Hegg, a prosperous agriculturist and prominent citizen of Winneshiek 
county, owns and operates a farm of one hundred and sixty-four acres on section 
1, Springfield township. His birth occurred near Drammen, Norway, on the 
28th of April. 1848, his parents being Ole and Carrie ( Arneson) Hegg, who were 
likewise natives of that country. In 1853 the family emigrated to America, 
coming direct to Springfield township, Winneshiek county, Iowa, where the 
father purchased one hundred and twenty acres of government land. He fol- 
lowed the trade of blacksmithing in Norway but in this country turned his at- 
tention to general agricultural pursuits, clearing and improving his land and 
cultivating the same during the remainder of his life. He passed away in 1861, 
at the age of sixty years, being long survived by his widow, whose demise 
occurred in 1890, at the ripe old age of eighty-five years. 

John Hegg. who was a lad of five years when brought by his parents to the 
new world, attended the district schools of this county in the acquirement of his 
education and spent the period of his minority with his mother on the home farm. 
When twenty-one years of age he bought the property and subsequently extended 
its boundaries by purchasing an adjoining tract of forty-four acres. He has 
made many substantial and modern improvements on the place and has been 
continuously engaged in its cultivation to the present time, annually gathering rich 
harvests which find a ready sale on the market. In addition to his farming in- 
terests he acts as president of the Norwegian Mutual Insurance Company of 
Winneshiek county and is a stockholder in the Nordness Creamery Company, the 
Nordness Telephone Company and the Decorah Farmers Cooperative Society. 

On the 28th of October, 187 1, Mr. Hegg was united in marriage to Miss 
Sarah Viste, her parents being Ole and Sigrid Viste. of whom more extended 
mention is made on another page of this work in connection with the sketch of 
( )laus Viste, a brother of Mrs. Hegg. Unto our subject and his wife have been 




MR. AND MRS. JOHN HEGG 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 227 

born thirteen children, as follows: Olaf, who passed away on the ist of Janu- 
ary, 1873; Sophia, whose demise occurred on the 15th of February, 1910; Olaf, 
the second of the name, who follows farming in South Dakota ; John and 
Gustav, twins, who are thirty-three years of age, the former living at home and 
the latter a minister of the gospel in Williams county, North Dakota ; Elizabeth, 
who is under the parental roof; Marie, who passed away on the 12th of August, 
1887; Henrietta, at home; William M„ whose demise occurred on the 15th of 
January, 1893; Ferdinand, who follows the profession of teaching in South 
Dakota; Joseph G., a young man of twenty-one years, who is a student in 
Luther College ; Marie, who is pursuing her studies at Sioux Falls, South 
Dakota ; and Ruth, a maiden of sixteen years. 

In politics Mr. Hegg is a republican and an active worker in the local ranks 
of the party. He has served as assessor of Springfield township for a period of 
eighteen years altogether, has also acted in the capacity of township clerk and is 
now serving as justice of the peace, having ever discharged his official duties 
in a most efficient and commendable manner. In 1891 he was the candidate of 
his party for state representative. His religious faith is indicated by his mem- 
bership in the Lutheran church. The period of his residence in Winneshiek 
county covers six decades and he enjoys an extensive acquaintance within its 
borders. Industry and progress seem to be the salient features in his career 
and have been potent elements in the acquirement of a success which, however, 
speaks not only in terms of material gain but in the regard and high esteem of his 
fellowmen. 



RICHARD SCHRUBBE. 

Richard Schrubbe is successfully engaged in business as the proprietor of 
the only store of its kind in Decorah, handling books, fancy goods, stationery 
and wall paper, and enjoying an extensive patronage. He was born at Water- 
town, Wisconsin, on the 12th of December, 1863, being the eldest of the eight 
children of Charles and Ernestina (Kroening) Schrubbe, who were natives of 
Germany. The father emigrated to the United States in an early day, locating 
in Wisconsin, where he followed farming for some time. In 1865 he came to 
Iowa and embarked in the flour and feed business at Lansing, while subse- 
quently he removed to Decorah and was here engaged in the same business for 
a number of years. He was afterward interested in a soap factory here for 
a number of years but during the last seventeen years of his life was in the 
employ of N. H. Adams. The period of his residence in this part of the state 
covered a third of a century and he was widely and favorably known. He 
passed away in the year 1898. His widow is living and makes her home in 
Decorah. 

Richard Schrubbe, who was brought to Iowa when but one year old, received 
his education in the public schools of Decorah and also spent a year in study 
at the German school of Watertown, Wisconsin. In 1880 he entered the book 
store which he is now conducting but which was then owned by James A. 
Leonard, whom he served as clerk for seven years. On the expiration of that 



228 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

period he opened a similar establishment on Water street, conducting the same 
until 1890, when he bought the store of -Mr. Leonard and has remained its 
proprietor throughout the intervening twenty-three years. He carries a com- 
prehensive stock of books, fancy goods, stationery and wall paper and enjoys 
a large and well merited patronage, his store being the only one of its kind 
111 Decorah. He owns the building in which the business is conducted and 
also purchased the adjoining brick structure in 1900. 

On the sth of October, 1892, .Mr. Schrubbe was united in marriage to Miss 
Bertina C. Rustad, a daughter of G. O. and Kristina (Sondrol) Rustad, who 
were natives of Norway. They emigrated to the United States in the '50s, 
locating first in Beloit, Wisconsin, but a short time later coming to Decorah, 
Iowa. Mr. Rustad here secured a position as clerk in the grocery store and 
subsequently became treasurer of the Lutheran synod, holding that office until 
his death on the 23d of December, 1903. His widow sur\ ives him. Mr. and 
Mrs. Schrubbe have one son. Leslie Herbert, whose natal day was April 15, 
1897. It was in that year that our subject erected a handsome modern resi- 
dence at No. 303 East Water street. 

At the polls Mr. Schrubbe casts his ballot in support of prohibition candi- 
dates and measures, believing that the liquor traffic is one of the worst evils with 
which this country has to contend. His religious faith is that of the German 
Methodist church, while his wife belongs to the First Norwegian Lutheran 
church and his son is a member of the Congregational church. He has spent 
almost his entire life in Decorah and has many friends and acquaintances here. 
His record is that of a self-made man whose history may well serve to encour- 
age and inspire others for he started out in the business world empty-handed 
and has since worked his way steadily upward to a position among the sub- 
stantial and representative merchants of the county. 



EN< >CI1 MACXUS. 



Among the active and progressive farmers of Winneshiek county is numbered 
Enoch Magnus, who owns and operates a fine property of one hundred and sixty 
acres on section 12, Lincoln township. He was born in this township, May 12, 
(8/8, and is a son of Samuel and Anna ( Kettleson ) Magnus, natives of Norway, 
who came to America when their son was thirteen" years of age, locating in 
Lincoln township, where the father passed away. The mother survives him 
and makes her home with the subject of this review. To Samuel and Anna 
Magnus were born eleven children: Martin S.. who lives with his mother and 
brother; Ole, who resides in Lincoln township; Sarah, the wife of O. Ringon. 
of Ridgeway; Emma, who married E. A. Bach, also of Ridgeway; Morris. 
Alfred and Samuel, all of whom have passed away; Enoch, of this review; 
Joseph and Alorris, second of the name, who reside in Montana; and Alfred, who 
is cultivating the family homestead in Lincoln township. 

Enoch Magnus acquired his education in the public schools of Lincoln town- 
-1111) and in his youth assisted his father with the work of the homestead, becom- 
ing; thus before he was of age a practical and progressive agriculturist. He 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 229 

remained at home until he was twenty-four years of age and then turned his 
attention to farming independently, renting one hundred and sixty acres of 
fine land on section 12, Lincoln township. In 1904 he purchased this property 
and he here carries on general farming and stock-raising, both branches of his 
business proving important and profitable, owing to his practical methods and 
able management. 

On the 26th of January. 1902, Mr. Magnus was united in marriage to Miss 
Hilda Gustena Bakken and they became the parents of five children: Mabel 
Blanche; Samuel Andrew; Marguerite; Elmer Clifford, who has passed away; 
and Helen, who was born May 4, 1913. 

Mr. Magnus is a member of the Lutheran church and is a republican in his 
political beliefs, serving at present as school director. His business success is 
well merited, for he is capable in management and displays untiring energy 
in carrying forward his interests. 



MICHAEL E. MIKKELSON. 

Since 1901 Michael E. Mikkelson has owned and operated an eighty acre 
farm on section 24, Madison township, developing it from an unimproved tract 
into a model and profitable agricultural enterprise. He is a native of Iowa, 
born in Decorah township, July 26, 1869, a son of Engel and Sarah (Dahle) 
Mikkelson, of whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work in con- 
nection with the sketch of Engel Mikkelson. 

Michael E. Mikkelson was reared and educated in Decorah, attending the 
public schools, and he remained at home until 1900, when he moved on to 
eighty acres of land in Madison township, section 24, a property which his 
father had given to him. He found this entirely unimproved and was obliged 
to clear a portion of it before beginning the work of cultivation. He erected 
the necessary buildings, installed modern machinery and with characteristic 
determination and energy carried forward the work of development, the results 
of his labors being evident today in its well improved and productive condition. 
Mr. Mikkelson is a stockholder in the Farmers Creamery Company of Decorah 
and was one of the organizers of that concern. He is also interested in the 
Farmers Hog Buying Company of that city and his ability is widely recognized 
in business circles. 

In May, 1900, Mr. Mikkelson was united in marriage to Miss Louise Gil- 
bertson, a daughter of Nels and Rachael (KittelsonJ Gilbertson, natives of 
Norwav, who came to America with their parents at an early date. They located 
in Wisconsin and when Nels Gilbertson was eighteen years of age he came to 
Winneshiek county, Iowa, buying land in Madison township, which he operated 
for the remainder of his life. He passed away in 1904 and his wife survived 
him until May 10, 191 1, dying at the home of the subject of this review. Mr. 
and Mrs. Mikkelson have become the parents of five children: Selma; Lottie; 
Esther, who died in 1903; Arthur; and Ernest. 

Mr. Mikkelson gives his political allegiance to the progressive party and is 
interested in public affairs, being now in the third year of his able service as 



230 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

school director. As a citizen and a business man he stands high in the esteem 
of his fellow citizens and the success that has come to him is but the just reward 
of his earnest and persistent efforts. 



HOWARD F. BARTHELL. 

Howard F. Barthell, who has been successfully engaged in the practice of 
law at Decorah for almost two decades, also acts as justice of the peace, having 
been elected to that office in [894. His birth occurred in Troy, New York, on 
the 30th of October, 1869. his parents being John G. and Sophia W. (Miller) 
Barthell, both of whom were natives of Germany. After emigrating to the 
United States the father became a mechanic and manufacturer of roofing in 
New York. In 1.875 ne came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and continued to 
reside here until 191 1, becoming a well known capitalist of the community. 
Going to his summer home at Ocean Grove. New Jersey, he there passed away 
on the 15th of October, 1912, at the age of ninety-one years, two months and 
twenty days. John G. Barthell was a veteran of the Mexican war, enlisting 
in a New York company and doing valuable service as a blacksmith and mechanic. 
His widow, who has attained the age of eighty-four years, makes her home 
in New York. 

Howard F. Barthell, who was a little lad of six years when brought to 
Winneshiek county by his parents, obtained his early education in the public 
schools here and also attended the Breckenridge Institute, being graduated there- 
from with the class of 1889. Subsequently he pursued a course in the Slack 
Business College and in 1891 went to Iowa City, where he began the study 
of law in the State University, being graduated from that institution in June, 
1893. Making his way to Montgomery. Minnesota, he there practiced law for 
a period of nine months and then removed to Necedah, Wisconsin, where lie 
followed his profession until October, 1894. At that time he returned to 
Decorah and has here remained continuously since, enjoying an enviable and 
lucrative clientage. He has a splendidly equipped office and good law library. 
His practice is extensive and of an important character. He is remarkable 
among lawyers for the wide research and provident care with which he pre- 
pares his cases. At no time has his reading ever been confined to the limitation 
of the questions at issue. It has gone beyond and compassed every con- 
tingency and provided not alone for the expected but for the unexpected. 

On the 20th of June, 1907, Mr. Barthell was united in marriage to Miss 
Matilda Asseln. Her father, John Asseln, a native of Germany, crossed the 
Atlantic to the United States and located at Decorah, Iowa, in the '50s, being 
here engaged in the shoe business for about twenty years. He is now living 
retired, in West Decorah, with his wife, who also survives. Mr. and Mrs. 
Barthell reside in a handsome home on Riverside avenue, which they own. 

In his political views Mr. Barthell is a stanch republican. In 1894 he was 
elected justice of the peace and has served in that capacity continuously since, 
his decisions having been at all times fair and impartial. He is well known 
in Masonic circles, having attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 231 

Rite and being also a Shriner. His name is likewise on the membership rolls 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent Protective Order 
of Elks. In religious faith he is a Unitarian. His acquaintance is wide, and 
he has a host of friends whose high regard he has gained through his pro- 
fessional ability, his deference to the opinions of others, his genial manner 
and unfailing courtesy. 



JOHN K. HOVDEN. 

For twenty-nine years John K. Hovden has lived upon his present farm on 
section 8, Madison township, and by constantly following the most progressive 
and practical methods in its cultivation has surrounded himself with a com- 
fortable degree of prosperity. During the years he has become known not 
only as a substantial agriculturist and a farsighted business man, but also as 
a loyal and public-spirited citizen whose contributions to the general improve- 
ment and advancement have been many and substantial. 

Mr. Hovden was born in Minnesota, November n, 1857, and is a son 
of Knut and Carrie (Spelug) Hovden, natives of Norway. When the father 
came to America he settled first at Rock Prairie, Wisconsin, whence after 
two years he moved to Minnesota where his marriage occurred. He and his 
wife moved to Winneshiek county, Iowa, after one year, and the father bought 
two hundred acres of land on sections 17 and 18, Madison township. This land 
he set about clearing and improving and his efforts were rewarded by substantial 
success, the place becoming one of the finest and most productive in this vicinity. 
The father continued to operate it for many years and died upon his holdings 
May 25, 1905. His wife survives him and resides upon the homestead. 

John K. Hovden was yet an infant when his parents moved to Winneshiek 
county and he was here reared and educated, attending district school and 
afterward Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. In his youth he assisted his 
father with the work of the farm and continued to reside with his parents until 
1884, when he purchased eighty-three acres of the homestead and began farming 
independently. The land lies on section 8, Madison township, and for twenty- 
nine years Mr. Hovden has steadily carried forward the work of its develop- 
ment along practical lines, the results of his labor being evident today in its 
neat and attractive appearance. He also owns eighty acres of land on section 
7, this township, and is connected with business interests of Ridgeway as a 
stockholder in the Farmers Creamery. 

On May 21, 1883, Mr. Hovden was united in marriage to Miss Sarma O. 
Haga, a daughter of O. K. and Gunel (Bergrud) Haga, natives of Norway. 
The parents came to America about 1861 and were pioneers hi Winneshiek county, 
the father purchasing land in Madison township, which he operated for the 
remainder of his life. He died in 1905 and his wife survives him, making her 
home upon the farm. Mr. and Mrs. Hovden became the parents of eight 
children: Clara G., who died August 28, 1902, at the age of eighteen; Olven 
K., born August 22, 1886; M. Amanda, born January 1, 1889; Carl J., born 



232 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

May 24, 1891; Helmer, born in 1893; Evelyn, July 11, 1896; Edward S., Jan- 
uary 5, 1899; and Clarence G., August 23. 1903. 

Mr. Hovden is a member of the Lutheran church. He is a republican in his 
political beliefs and has held various official positions of trust and responsibility, 
in all of which he discharged his duties in a prompt, capable and efficient manner. 
For two years he served as trustee of this township and as assessor for one 
term and he was elected justice of the peace but did not qualify. Movements 
for the promotion of the general development and advancement receive his 
hearty cooperation and active support for he has lived in this part of Iowa 
practically all of his life and is interested in its growth and progress. He has 
made important contributions to farming interests and his success is well deserved, 
rewarding a busy, useful and upright life. 



AARON L. ABBEY. 



Aaron L. Abbey was actively engaged in the insurance business in Decorah 
until spring, 191 3. retiring in his seventy-third year from a line of work with 
which he was continuously identified here for the past forty-six years. For 
many vears he traveled as representative for various companies but later con- 
fined his activities more to local business. He also was closely connected with 
the agricultural development of this section, being still the owner of a large 
farm in Decorah township and has, morever, a distinguished war record to his 
credit, having prominently participated in the great conflict between north and 
south, discharging his duties in a valiant and faithful manner. 

Born near Armada, Macomb county, Michigan, on December 22, 1840, Aaron 
L. Abbey is a son of William and Mary Ann ( Bray ) Abbey, the former of whom 
was born in the eastern portion of Vermont on June 19, 1803, and the latter in 
Ontario county, New York, on December 20, 1806. The father was of Scotch- 
English and the mother of English and Dutch stock. A carpenter by trade and 
also a farmer, the father removed to Ontario county. New York, with his 
parents when twelve years of age. There he was married on February 9, 1827, 
and, giving evidence of the traditional family spirit of enterprise, moved two 
years later westward to Macomb county. Michigan, settling on one hundred and 
sixty acres of land. Fie remained there actively engaged in wresting a farm 
from the virgin country until 1861, when he sold out to good advantage and 
returned to Ontario county, New York, purchasing a small farm upon which 
he remained until his death in 1868. The mother had previously passed away 
on the farm in Macomb county. Michigan, on November 3. 1853, and is buried 
there. 

Aaron I.. Abbey is the youngest of nine children and the only one now living. 
Reared among pioneer conditions, he took good advantage of the educational 
opportunities such as were offered in the public schools of Armada, Michigan, 
at the time, and, when fifteen years of age, removed to Waupun, Wisconsin, 
where he continued his education, attending school during the winter months. 
Having lost his mother when but thirteen years of age he made his home in 
Waupun with an old friend of his father on a farm, assisting in the operation 




i.l ORliK < . WINMII1' 




AARON L. ABBEY 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 237 

of the place. In 1802 lie returned to Armada, Michigan, and on August 15, 
of the same year, enlisted for service in the Civil war with Company A, Fifth 
Michigan Cavalry. On November 1, 1862, he was commissioned second lieuten- 
ant in Company L, Eighth Michigan Cavalry, and on June 16, 1864, promoted to 
the rank of first lieutenant. He received his honorable discharge at Columbus, 
Ohio, on May i'S, 1865. Mr. Abbey participated in a number of the principal 
battles of the war, never faltering in the performance of any duty, however 
arduous, however hazardous. His valor, his zeal, his devotion awakened and 
inspired courage in the men who served with and under him and his record was 
one of conspicuous gallantry. He was captured on August 3, 1864, in the Stone- 
man raid from Atlanta to Macon and taken to Macon prison, being subsequently 
removed to Charleston, South Carolina, thence to Columbia, that state, and last 
to Raleigh, North Carolina, undergoing all the hardships and terrors of captivity. 

After being mustered out Mr. Abbey returned to Michigan and in June, 
1865, came to Decorah, Winneshiek county, on a visit to his brother. Local 
conditions appealed to him and perceiving the opportunities the future held in 
store, he purchased land in Orleans township, this county, and engaged in farm- 
ing. Ill health, however, prevented a continuance of this occupation and he soon 
disposed of his property, engaging in the insurance business, with which line 
he was continuously engaged for forty-six years. He acted as special agent for 
various companies until a few years ago when he gave up the work on the road 
to devote himself entirely to the local business, which he recently turned over 
to his son E. R. Abbev. The many years of connection with business in Decorah 
have proven his worth and the name of Mr. Abbey is highly respected in com- 
mercial circles of the city. 

On November 28, 1865, Mr. Abbey was united in marriage to Miss Sarah M. 
Randall, a daughter of Felix and Marie (Ingraham) Randall, natives of Ohio 
and the former a prominent farmer of Macomb county, Michigan, in his days. 
Mrs. Abbey was born in Richmond, that state, October 23, 1841, and died on 
Februarv 2S. 1891, at Decorah. In 1893 Mr. Abbey married again, his second 
union being with Mrs. Minnie B. Brock, a daughter of George C. and Charlotte 
(Bradlev) Winship. The father was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and the 
mother in Summit county. Ohio. He removed to the Buckeye state when a 
young man and there married, coming in 1845 with his wife to Winneshiek 
county. Iowa, among the earliest pioneers and purchasing a large tract of land 
near Decorah. He was a tinner by trade and when he first located in Decorah 
worked in the tin shop of a Mr. Bradish. Later he established a wood yard in 
Decorah and then followed farming until fourteen years ago, when on account 
of failing health he sold out and started west. He died at Tekoa, Washington, 
April 14, 1898. and is buried there. The mother had preceded him in death, 
passing away in Decorah, November 29, 1891, finding her last resting place in 
this city. Mr. Winship was prominent in public life in Decorah, having served 
as mayor of West Decorah and as county supervisor for a number of years. 
He was chairman of the bridge committee in that connection and also a member 
of the school board. Mrs. Abbey is a native of Decorah. Mr. Abbey by his 
first wife became the father of the following children : William F., born in 
Decorah, October 15, 1866, who is a traveling insurance agent and still makes 
his home here: Arthur L., born October 31, 186S, who died August 26, 1869; 



Vol. II— 1 1 



238 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Etta M., born April 17, 1S71, the widow of E. E. Kennedy, of Perry, Iowa, now 
making her home with her parents; and Edward R.. born December 15, 1S73, 
also engaged in the insurance business in Decorah. To the second marriage of 
Mr. Abbey was born one daughter, Nellie B., on December 9. 1894, a junior 
in the Decorah high school. Mrs. Abbey also had a child by her former mar- 
riage, Lancelot Brock, who was born in Decorah in 1883 and now makes his 
home in Wallace, Idaho. 

Carrying onward the traditions which decided him to offer his services to his 
country at the time of the Civil war, Mr. Abbey has always voted the republican 
ticket and stanchly supports its platform and candidates. He has never sought 
the limelight of public office but has contented himself with fulfilling his obliga- 
tions as an American citizen in a private way, giving an example of high-minded- 
ness and public-spiritedness by a life record free from the glamour attaching 
to political position. He keeps alive the spirit of "6i as a member of the Grand 
Army post of Decorah and is also prominently connected with the Masons, being 
a member of the blue lodge and Royal Arch Chapter of Decorah. and both he and 
his wife are members of the Eastern Star Lodge, No. 7^. Both are also mem- 
bers of the Congregational church, in the work of which they take a helpful 
interest. As prosperity has come to Mr. Abbey he has invested in county realty, 
being the owner of a farm on sections 16 and 17, Decorah township, from 
which he derives a gratifying income. Viewed from every angle, the life record 
of Mr. Abbey is one which would be a credit to any man, as his attainments 
are worthy of notice, his loyalty to his country worthy of exemplification, his 
characteristics worthy of praise, and he rightfully occupies a position in the 
community which begets him the respect, good-will and confidence of high and 
low, young and old. 



GUSTAV }. SELNES. 



Gustav J. Seines, who was born on the farm which he now operates, on 
February 22, 1879, is °"e of the younger agriculturists of Winneshiek county, 
owning one hundred and six acres on section 8, Highland township. He is 
a son of John and Carrie (Solberg) Thorson, natives of Norway. The father 
came to the state of Iowa in 1861, and the mother was brought here by her 
parents when she was two years of age. They were married in this county 
and spent the rest of their lives on the farm which is now the home of their 
son Gustav J. The father became the owner of two highly cultivated prop- 
erties of two hundred and one hundred and sixty acres respectively. Long 
years of arduous labor brought him prosperity and his high qualities of mind 
and character earned him the respect and esteem of the neighborhood. Both 
parents were members of the Lutheran church at Hesper. The father died 
at the age of sixty-seven, his death occurring on November 8. 1904, and the 
mother died in 1881, long preceding her husband. In their family were the 
following children: Theodore, of Highland township; Peter Thorson, of Bow- 
man county, North Dakota; Gilbert, who passed away at the age of eleven 
years; John and Julius, of Highland township; Gustav )., our subject; and 
Clara, who died in infancy. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 239 

Gustav J. Seines acquired his education in the schools of the neighborhood 
and early adapted himself to an agricultural life. He has resided upon the 
home farm all his life and now owns a property of one hundred and six acres 
on section 8. Its improvements are modern and substantial and most of them 
were made by our subject. He follows modern and up-to-date methods and his 
years of close application have brought him prosperity. 

On September 12, 1906, Mr. Seines married Miss Gina Augedahl, who was 
born in Houston county, Minnesota, August 31, 1886. She is a daughter of 
Andrew and Anna M. Augedahl, natives of Norway, who now reside in Alla- 
makee county, this state. Mr. and Mrs. Seines have three sons, James, Clifford 
and Gerhard. The parents are members of the Lutheran church. It is inter- 
esting to note that the father of our subject used the name of Thorson, revert- 
ing to the old Norwegian family name, while the son has adopted the patronymic 
Seines. Mr. Seines has made a good start toward prosperity and although he 
is yet young has already accomplished much that comes to many only in later 
life. He is industrious, painstaking and possesses good judgment and has made 
use of these qualities in promoting his fortunes. 



ELMER W. CUTTING. 

Elmer W. Cutting, attorney at law of Decorah, has here followed his pro- 
fession for the past seventeen years and has been accorded a gratifying and 
well merited clientage. He is likewise prominent in fraternal circles, now acting 
as grand master of the grand lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
in Iowa. His birth occurred in Howard county, Iowa, on the 2d of June, 1868, 
his parents being Charles and Almeda (Preston) Cutting, who were natives 
of Massachusetts and New York respectively. Charles Cutting accompanied 
his parents on their removal to Howard county, Iowa, and on attaining his 
majority turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, which he fol- 
lowed in that county until the time of his death in 1874. His wife was called 
to her final rest in the year 1900. 

Elmer W. Cutting was reared and educated in his native county and when 
a lad of ten years came to live with his grandparents. After leaving the common 
schools he began teaching, following that profession for two years. In 1889 he 
came to Decorah, Iowa, and entered the Breckenridge Institute, being graduated 
from that institution in 1892 and then spending about three years as one of its 
teachers. Subsequently he took up the study of law in the State University 
of Iowa at Iowa City and was graduated therefrom at the end of two years, 
in June, 1896. While pursuing his law course he also taught school. Coming 
to Decorah, he has here practiced his profession continuously since and has 
been accorded an enviable and gratifying clientage. He has won for himself 
very favorable criticism for the careful and systematic methods which he has 
followed. He has remarkable powers of concentration and application and his 
retentive mind has often excited the surprise of his professional colleagues. In 
connection with his legal work he deals in farm mortgages and also loans money. 



240 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINXFSHIEK COUNTY 

He is likewise a stockholder in the Calmar Savings Bank and the Burr Oak 
Savings Bank. 

On the 26th of June, 1001. Air. Cutting was united in marriage to Miss 
Josie F. Stortz, a daughter of John and Emily (Headington) Stortz, the former 
a native of Germany and the latter of Winneshiek county, Iowa. John Stortz 
emigrated to the United States with his parents in a very early day. He enlisted 
as a member of Company A. Sixteenth United States Regulars, and when the 
Civil war broke out was sent to the front, serving throughout the period of 
hostilities between the north and the south. Returning to this county, he fol- 
lowed farming for a number of years or until 1910, when he put aside the active 
work of the fields and took up his abode in Decorah, where he is now living 
retired. His wife also survives. Mr. and Mrs. Cutting have four children: 
Almeda E., Carroll E., Hester E. and John S., who are ten, nine, eight and 
two years of age, respectively. Mr. Cutting owns a handsome residence and 
ten acres of land on Pleasant avenue. He is greatly interested in high-grade 
stock and raises thoroughbred cattle and hogs and also chickens. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Cutting has sup- 
ported the men and measures of the republican party. As above stated, he is 
well known in fraternal circles, his membership being with the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows. For nine years he acted as a member of the board of 
instruction of the grand lodge of Iowa and served as grand warden of the grand 
lodge for one year. The following year he was elected deputy grand master and 
at the end of a year became grand master, in which important office he has 
served to the present time. The weight of his character and ability has carried 
him into important relations and his present standing in professional and frater- 
nal circles represents the tit utilization of the innate talents which are his. 



GUSTAV E. BARKEN. 

One of the most extensive landowners and prosperous farmers of Madison 
township is Gustav E. Bakken, whose fine farm of six hundred and eighty 
acres lies on sections 10 and 11 and constitutes a valuable addition to the 
agricultural resources of this section. He is one of Winneshiek county's most 
energetic and successful native sons, his birth having occurred in Madison 
township, January 15, 1866. His parents, < )le II. and Ingeborg ( Bakke) Bakken, 
are natives of Norway and came to America at different limes, the former 
arriving in 1854 and the latter in 1852. The mother made the journey across 
the Atlantic with her parents and with them located in Koshkonong. Wisconsin. 
whence some years later she came to Winneshiek county. Iowa, where her 
marriage occurred. The father came direct from Norway to Winneshiek 
county and for a time after his arrival worked as a monthly farm laborer. 
eventually Inning a piece of land in Madison township. This formed the 
nucleus of extensive holdings for after a time he purchased more land and 
added to his area from time to time until he owned twelve hundred acre. This 
great tract he operated until 1003, when lie divided his land among his children 
and retired from active life. He and his wife now make their home with 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 241 

their son, E. F. .Bakken, the father being eighty-live years of age and the 
mother seventy-one. 

Gustav E. Bakken was reared and educated in Madison township, attending 
district school and afterward Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. He remained 
with his parents until he was twenty-eight years of age and then rented a farm 
from his father, a property which he has operated since that time. In 1903 the 
father deeded to him this tract of land which contained two hundred acres lying 
on section it, Madison township. From time to time Mr. Bakken has added 
to this property until he owns today six hundred and eighty acres, one of the 
finest farms in this part of Winneshiek county. Modern buildings have been 
erected upon it, labor-saving machinery has been installed to facilitate the work 
of the fields and nothing has been neglected which will add to the attractive 
appearance or value of the place. Mr. Bakken raises only thoroughbred stock 
and has been unusually successful also in his general farming operations, the 
extent of his interests and the success which has steadily attended his labors 
placing him among the representative agriculturists of this locality. 

On the 1 2th of October, 1804, Mr. Bakken married Miss Helena Melaas, 
a daughter of Flans and Marn (Knutson) Melaas, natives of Norway. The 
father came to America and located in Winneshiek county, Iowa, where he 
engaged in farming, operating his property here until 1905, when he retired. 
He is now making his home in Ridgeway, having survived his wife since 1902. 
Mr. and Airs. Bakken became the parents of two children: Ida Maria, aged seven- 
teen ; and Ole Henry, aged twelve. Airs. Bakken passed away on the 6th of 
December, 191 1, after an illness of about three years. 

Mr. Bakken is a member of the Lutheran church and gives his political 
allegiance to the republican party, being now in the ninth term of his able 
service as township trustee. A public-spirited and progressive citizen, he takes 
a commendable and intelligent interest in public affairs and does everything in 
his power to promote the permanent interests of the community. 



SAMUEL F. KUNTZ. 



Samuel F. Kuntz, whose activity in the development of his fine farm of two 
hundred and forty acres on section II, Lincoln township, has contributed not 
only to his own advancement but to the general development of this locality, 
was born near Batesville, Indiana, February 1, 1868. He is a son of Andrew 
and Barbara (Butz) Kuntz, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of 
Germany. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, came to Winneshiek 
county in 1890 and located near Ridgeway, where he lived until the time of his 
death, which occurred August 28, 1912. Flis wife had passed away a few weeks 
before, dying on July 3d of that year. To their union were born ten children : 
William, who resides in Lincoln township; Edward, who makes his home in 
Cresco; John, of Luck; Samuel F., of this review; Emma, deceased; Charles, 
who resides on the old homestead ; Wesley, living in Wisconsin ; Carrie, who 
married John Reinhardt, of Lincoln township ; Albert, a teacher in Iowa City ; 
and Frank", of Lincoln township. 



242 I 'AST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Samuel F. Kuntz was reared in Batesville, Indiana, and there acquired his 
education. He came to Winneshiek county in July, 1898, and while making his 
home here bought one hundred and seventy acres of land in Minnesota and one 
hundred and sixty acres in South Dakota. He never lived on either of these 
properties and in 1903 disposed of all his holdings, buying two hundred and 
eighty acres on section II, Lincoln township. Of this he has since sold forty 
acres but retains the remainder, which is well improved property, classed with 
the finest farms in this locality. Upon it Mr. Kuntz has made substantial im- 
provements, erecting buildings and installing labor-saving machinery to facilitate 
the work of the fields. He carries on general farming and stock-raising and 
by his energy and capable management has won a substantial and well deserved 
success. 

On the 21st of January, 1890, Mr. Kuntz was united in marriage to Miss 
Anna M. Klein and to their union were born seven children: Carl, whose birth 
occurred December 13, 1890. and who is engaged in the machinery business in 
Edmonton; Lauretta, who was born September 25, 1893; Roy, who died in 
infancy; Mabel, born November 6, 1898; Lillian, born February 2. 1902; George, 
born January 3, 1904; and Milton, born February 22, 1906. 

Mr. Kuntz is a member of the German Methodist church and gives political 
allegiance to the republican party, serving as treasurer of the school board. In 
all of his dealings he has been thoroughly reliable and in matters of citizenship 
helpful and progressive, giving his aid and influence to many movements for 
the public good. 



A. A. HAWKS. 



Though a native of Maine, A. A. Hawks has spent practically his entire life 
in Winneshiek county, coming here when but seven years of age. He well 
remembers the trip from the Pine Tree state to the middle west, leaving on a 
Monday morning and arriving in Decorah on Saturday morning. There they 
hired a farmer to drive them to Burr Oak, the trip being made on a cold evening, 
the date being March 11, 1865. and all suffered much with the cold, especially the 
seven-year-old, whom the intense suffering caused to shed many a tear. There 
was no railroad crossing the Mississippi at that time and the women of the 
party were taken across the ice in a sleigh, while the men and boys crossed on 
foot. In the winter of 1896-7 Mr. Hawks returned to his native state, but at that 
time the trip was made in a comfortable railroad coach and no occasion pre- 
sented itself for the shedding of tears. 

Born in St. Albans, Maine, December 17, 1857, A. A. Hawks is a son of 
Joseph S. and Deborah W. (Goddard) Hawks, also natives of Maine. Both 
families were of English descent, the grandfather and great-grandfather having 
come from the mother country. They settled here soon after the United States 
government was established. Moses Hawks, the grandfather of our subject, 
was a millwright by trade, and the grandfather on the maternal side was a farmer. 
Joseph S. Hawks, the father, also followed agricultural pursuits. In the spring 
of 1865, A. A. Hawks with his parents came to Winneshiek county, the family 




A. A. HAWKS AND FAMILY 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 245 

locating in Hesper township. They resided on two different farms until the spring 
of 1883, when they located on the land which is now the property of our subject. 
Both parents died on this place, the father in November, 1902, at the age of 
eighty, and the mother in 1909, when eighty-seven years of age. Both were active 
and helpful members of the Friends church. They had two children: S. G., of 
Colorado Springs, Colorado; and A. A., of this review. 

A. A. Hawks received his education in Winneshiek county, attending district 
school in Hesper township, and he early became acquainted with agricultural 
pursuits under the guidance of his father. He has practically resided all his life 
in that township and now owns one hundred and seventy-six acres on sections 
15, 21 and 22 and also ten acres of timber land. He is a breeder of registered 
polled cattle and his farm is widely and favorably known as the Union Springs 
Stock Farm. The prosperity which he now enjoys is entirely due to his own 
efforts and there is no one who begrudges him the substantial position which he 
has attained in life. 

On January 12, 1899, Mr. Hawks was united in marriage to Miss Mary F. 
Lyon, a native of Wisconsin, born September 5, 1867, and a daughter of A. A. 
and Carrie E. (Davis) Lyon, who were natives of New York and were married 
there. The father was of Irish descent and the mother's family originally came 
from England. They settled in Wisconsin in 1866 and died there, the mother 
passing away in 1895 at tne a S e 0I sixty-four, and the father in January, 191 1, 
when eighty years old. They had four children : Alice A., the wife of A. E. 
Shore, of Wisconsin; Mary F., the wife of our subject; Anna C, of Wisconsin; 
and Charles, deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Hawks have three children, Avis Ellen, 
Loren Raymond and Carol A. 

In his politics Mr. Hawks is independent, giving his support to whatever 
candidates he considers best fitted for the office to which they aspire. He is a 
member of the Friends church, taking active and helpful interest in that organ- 
ization. He has done his share and more than his share in promoting agricul- 
tural development in Winneshiek county and has attained individual success 
through his own efforts, always following the principle to do well whatever he 
found to do. He has been interested in the general growth of his district and 
county and has always led a busy and useful life, having done as much toward 
promoting the common interests as he has in furthering his own fortunes. 



LUTHER REED. 



Luther Reed, a representative of a well known and highly respected family of 
Winneshiek county, was for many years a powerful factor in promoting the 
general agricultural development of this section of the state, owning a fine farm 
of three hundred acres on sections 19 and 30, Hesper township. Upon this 
property he lived from the time he was eleven years of age until he retired 
from active life, and the years brought him success, prominence and substantial 
fortune — benefits which he has well earned and richly deserves. 

Mr. Reed was born in Ludlow township, Allamakee county, February 25, 
1851, and is a son of Ezra and Phoebe (Cross) Reed, the former a native of 



246 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

* 

Vermont and the latter of Lawrence county. New York. The father, who was 
a farmer by occupation, went to Wisconsin at a very early date and there engaged 
in agricultural pursuits until 1850, when he moved to Iowa, settling in Allamakee 
county. He there purchased land from the government, developing it into 
a profitable farm, which he sold in 1862, coming in that year to Winneshiek 
county. He bought land in Hesper township and here resided until his death, 
which occurred in June, 1887, having survived his wife since May, 1882. 

Luther Reed began his education in the district schools of Allamakee county 
and continued it in Winneshiek count}-, whither he came with his parents when 
he was eleven years of age. He attended district schools and the public schools 
of Burr Oak and W r aukon, and from his childhood spent his time, when not 
engaged with his books, in assisting his father with the operation of the home- 
stead. For some years after his father's death he had entire charge of this 
property, which Ezra Reed deeded to his son before his demise. The farm 
comprises three hundred acres of fine land lying on sections 19 and 30, Hesper 
township, and upon it Mr. Reed engages in general farming and stock-raising, 
for many years steadily carrying forward the work of improvement and de- 
velopment, making it by his practical, progressive methods and his well directed 
labors a valuable, well equipped and productive property. He accumulated by 
his own efforts a substantial fortune and in 1902 retired from active life and 
moved into Decorah, where he has since lived in enjoyment of the fruits of a 
long, prosperous and worthy life. Three years after he took up his residence 
here he was appointed constable and in 1906 was elected to the position which he 
lias filled by reelection since that time. In this connection, as in all the relations 
of life, Mr. Reed discharges his duties capably and conscientiously, winning 
the approval and commendation of the people whom he serves. 

On the 1st of January. 1875. Mr. Reed was united in marriage to Miss 
Celia L. Kellam, a daughter of Andrew J. and Mary E. 1 West ) Kellam. natives 
of Pennsylvania. Air. and Mrs. Reed became the parents of four children: 
Ezra G., a farmer in Burr Oak township; Luther ( Hiver, who is engaged in the 
livery business in Decorah; Alma, the wife of John Curo, county surveyor, with 
residence in Walker, Minnesota ; and Cora, the wife of George H. Baker, a coal 
and grain dealer in Decorah. Mr. Reed's first wife passed away June 18, 
1901, and on the 30th of December, 1908, he was again married, his second 
union being with Miss Ann Amelia Mather, a daughter of Eusebius and Hannah 
(Deming) Mather. Eusebius Mather was burn in New York state and was a 
prominent railroad contractor and upon coming west, he built the railroad from 
McCregor to Conover in this state. He was for many years city clerk of 
Decorah and also a justice of the peace and actively interested in all that per- 
tained to the welfare of this city. 

Mr. Reed is connected with the Great Lights Lodge, No. 181, A. F. & A. M., 
and is past master of Cement Lodge, No. 567. He gives his political allegiance 
to the republican party and has always taken an active interest in public affairs, 
being progressive and public-spirited in matters of citizenship. He served for 
a number of years as justice of the peace and as assessor of Hesper township, 
and was for ten years secretary of the school board, the cause of education 
finding in him a loyal and able champion. Living in Iowa from his birth to 
the present time and in Winneshiek county for over fifty years, he is one of the 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 247 

best known men of this locality, being widely recognized as a man of tried 
integrity and worth, of business enterprise and unfaltering diligence, and now 
that he has gained success and substantial fortune he is enjoying a well earned 
rest, for it is fitting that his former business career should bring to him this 
period of leisure to enjoy the fruits of his former toil. His fellow townsmen 
honor and respect him and wherever he is known he has an extensive circle of 
friends. 



JOHN B. MACAL. 



Through well directed business activity and enterprise John B. Macal has 
gained recognition as one of the prosperous farmers of Winneshiek county. He 
owns four hundred and eighty acres of well improved land on section 29, Mad- 
ison township, and has spent practically all of his active life in this locality, dur- 
ing which time his labors have not only contributed to his own prosperity but 
have proven effective forces in advancing the general welfare. He was born 
in Dubuque, Iowa, June 24, 1861, and is a son of John and Barbara (Mashek) 
Macal, natives of Austria. The parents came to America and settled in Dubuque 
in 1857 and for eight years thereafter the father engaged in the hardware busi- 
ness in that city. At the end of that time he came to Winneshiek county, buy- 
ing one hundred and ninety acres of land in Washington township and setting 
about improving and developing this farm. He operated it until 1882 and 
then retired from active life, moving to Fort Atkinson, where he and his wife 
have since resided, being respectively seventy-eight and eighty years of age. 

John B. Macal acquired his education in the schools of Dubuque and in 
district school in Winneshiek county. He assisted his father with the work of 
the homestead and remained with his parents until after their retirement, when 
he assumed full charge of the property in Washington township. He purchased 
the land and cleared eighty acres of it, erecting substantial and modern build- 
ings and adding to the machinery and equipment. For twenty-two years there- 
after he carried on general farming and stock-raising upon the property but at 
the end of that time sold it to his eldest son and moved to Madison township, 
where he had in 1893 purchased three hundred and twenty acres on section 29. 
After he took up his residence upon it he turned his attention to its further 
development and upon it he has since made his home. From time to time he 
has added to his holdings and now owns four hundred and eighty acres in the 
home tract as well as another two hundred acre farm in Mower county, Min- 
nesota. He is a representative and progressive agriculturist and his labors, 
being always practical, have been rewarded by excellent results. 

On the 24th of January, 1882, Mr. Macal Was united in marriage to Miss 
Annie Mashek, a daughter of Wenzel and Katie Mashek, natives of Austria. 
The parents came to America at an early date and located in Dubuque, Iowa, 
where Mrs. Macal was born in the same house in which her husband's birth 
occurred. Her father worked for a time in Dubuque but after two years went 
to Wisconsin, buying land in La Crosse county, near La Crosse. This property 
he operated for the remainder of his life, dying in 1905. having survived his 



248 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

wife for two years. Mr. and Mrs. Macal have become the parents of seven chil- 
dren : Edwin, who is engaged in farming in Washington township; John M., 
who follows farming in Madison township; .Maurice, a farmer of Mower county, 
Minnesota ; William. Otillie and Arthur, all at home ; and Frank, who died June 
19, 1897, at the age of thirteen years. 

Fraternally Mr. Macal is affiliated with the Western Bohemian Brotherhood, 
the Modern Woodmen of America and the Masons. He is a member of the 
Roman Catholic church and a stanch republican in his political beliefs, rendering 
the township capable and able service as trustee at the present time. He is an 
active and willing worker for the upbuilding and advancement of the county 
along many lines and stands high in the regard of all who know him. 



CHARLES W. BURDICK. 

The activities of the late Charles W. Burdick touched upon many phases 
of public and private development in Winneshiek county and Decorah and in 
their effect were of vital importance in bringing about the prosperous condi- 
tions which are enjoyed by the present generation. His death, which occurred 
on the 7th of March. 1913. was the occasion of deeply felt and general mourn- 
ing in Decorah and a loss to the community which cannot be easily replaced. 
As state and municipal officer Mr. Burdick was instrumental in bringing about 
a number of reforms which greatly benefited his community. As pioneer builder 
and banker he, in no mean way, contributed to the commercial expansion of 
his city, and as soldier, following the flag on the battlefields of the south, he 
rendered meritorious service to his nation. 

Bom in Crawford county, Pennsylvania. August 23, 1838, he was a son of 
Nelson and Elmira (Mason) Burdick. The Burdick family is generally sup- 
posed to be of Scotch origin but there are some who assert that Robert Burdick, 
the original emigrant to America, was a Welshman, and this was inferred from 
the fact that he came over with John Cromwell, who came from the little rock- 
ribbed principality of England's west coast. Nelson Burdick, the father of our 
subject, was born in Cayuga county, New York, and in the spring of 1833 
moved to Crawford county, Pennsylvania, where he made his home until 1852, 
in which year he made a trip to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and there located 
a tract of land. In the following spring he brought his family westward and, 
settling on his farm, tilled the soil until 1862, when he moved into Decorah, 
where he passed the remainder of his days, surrounded by his children and 
esteemed and respected by the many friends which his admirable qualities of 
mind and character had won him. He passed away after a twelve davs' illness, 
on July 1, 1885. On January 1. 1831, he was married, in New York, to Miss 
Elmira Mason, the mother being born in Preble, Cortland county. New York, 
December 2q, 1807. She was a true and faithful helpmate to her husband in 
establishing his fortunes, a true wife and a good mother, widely beloved by 
all who came in contact with her. Her death, which took place in 1903 at an 
age of nearlv ninety-six years, was an occasion of deep and widespread regret. 




CHARLES W. BURDICK 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 251 

Charles W. Burdick was fourteen years of age when he came with his 
parents from Crawford county, Pennsylvania, to Winneshiek county. He re- 
ceived his education in his native state and in the schools near his new 
location, passing his leisure hours and vacations in work on the home farm. 
There he remained occupied with agricultural pursuits until the outbreak of the 
Civil war. when he became one of the first to respond to Lincoln's call for 
troops and although it had been his desire to join the first regiment sent out of 
the state, it was found when he came to Keokuk, the point of rendezvous, that 
both the first and second regiments had already their full quotas of men and 
hence he was mustered into the service on June 8, 1861, as a member of Com- 
pany D of the Third Iowa Volunteer Infantry. His term of enlistment was for 
three years, at the end of which time he received his honorable discharge at 
Davenport, Iowa, after participating in many of the greater battles and sharp 
skirmishes, distinguishing himself for fearlessness in conduct and faithfulness 
to duty. There is no better proof of his meritorious conduct than the fact that 
lie was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant during the conflict. 

After his return to Decorah Mr. Burdick at once engaged in the real-estate 
business associated with his father, the firm name being N. Burdick & Son, 
under which style they continued in business for ten years, at the end of which 
period the father retired, our subject continuing and adding an abstract of title 
department to his activities. During this time Mr. Burdick had well acquainted 
himself with the various phases of the business and his knowledge of land values 
was such that many profitable deals came to fruition under his able manage- 
ment. The years brought him prosperity and, reaching out for new fields of 
endeavor, he became one of the prime movers in the organization of the Citizens 
Savings Bank, which institution opened its doors for business on February 10, 
1884. He was the first president of this financial institution and guided the 
affairs of the bank with circumspection and ability until about six years ago, 
when he retired. The prosperous condition of this bank is largely due to the 
efforts of him who launched it on its way and carefully guided its policies 
through the first years of struggle, avoiding pitfalls and difficulties and being 
principally instrumental in making it the stable and solid business which it is 
today. He retired only after he had seen to it that it was safely and firmly 
established. Mr. Burdick was also closely connected with building operations 
in Decorah, having erected several of the largest business blocks in the city, 
selling the same to good advantage. 

On February 20, 1867, Charles W. Burdick was married to Miss Violetta 
E. McMurtie, a daughter of Henry and Violetta (Leach) McMurtie. On October 
8, 1892, only about a half year after their silver wedding anniversary, Mrs. 
Burdick passed away, deeply mourned by her family and a large circle of 
devoted friends who esteemed her for her many high womanly qualities. Of 
this union were born two children, Allie Susan and May. On November 21, 
1894, Mr. Burdick married Mrs. Ida M. Stone, a daughter of Dr. Louis Pagin, 
of South Bend, Indiana. On November 30, 1899, Mr. Burdick was again 
married, his third union being with Miss Noble Dixson, of Dubuque, Iowa, by 
whom he had one child, who died in infancy. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Burdick always took a deep interest 
in public and political matters, giving his support unflinchingly to the republi- 



252 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

can party. He held various important political positions, among them that of 
internal revenue officer for the district comprising Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fay- 
ette and Howard counties, a federal appointment, for six years. He also served 
efficiently as a member of the Soldiers' Home Commission by appointment of 
Governor Larrabee and subsequently was reappointed, serving for eight years. 
I )ecorah profited through his service as councilman and he also had the honor 
of filling the position of mayor, giving the city a progressive and businesslike 
administration. His religious inclinations were toward the Christian Science 
church and his only semi-fraternal connection with the Grand Army of the 
Republic, being a member of Colonel Hughes Post. 

The Burdick family residence, which he erected in 1SS3. is one of the finest 
mansions of Decorah and there he and Air- liurdick extended a warm-hearted 
and sincere hospitality to their many friends. Until his death Mr. Burdick was 
vigorous and active, finding interest in all matters that affected his community 
and participating in all movements undertaken for moral or material advance- 
ment. A prime factor in making this section what it is today — one of the richest 
agricultural regions in the country — he always led a busy and useful life to which 
indolence and idleness ever were foreign. Not only did he encompass his own 
success but was one of those who by their labors could lay claim to the title of 
country builder, having been a serviceable factor in the growth and upbuilding 
of Decorah and Winneshiek county, which had no more loyal advocate than 
Charles \Y. Burdick during his lifetime. His memory will long be cherished 
and his name remains a synonym for loyalty and uprightness. 



AXDkl-AV LANE. 



Andrew Lane owns a valuable and productive farm of eighty acres in Decorah 
township and has won well merited success in its operation. His birth occurred 
in Norway on the 19th of Februaiy, 1854, his parents being Robert and Annie 
(Rygg) Lane, likewise natives of that country. The father, who followed farm- 
ing in Norway throughout his active business career, there passed away in 1880. 
The mother was called to her final rest in 1898. 

Andrew Lane was reared and educated in Norway and remained in his native 
land until twenty years of age. In 1874 he set sail for the new world, having 
determined to take advantage of the opportunities which he had heard were here 
to lie enjoyed. Making his way direct to Winneshiek county, Iowa, he was 
employed as a farm hand until 1879 and then started out as an agriculturist on 
his own account, purchasing a tract of eighty acres just over the line in Allamakee 
county, lie devoted his attention to its cultivation and improvement for two 
years and then leased the property, renting a farm two miles from Decorah. 
which he operated for some time. Subsequently he purchased the farm of 
eighty acres in Decorah township which he now owns and the operation of which 
has claimed his time and energies continuously since. He erected a handsome 
residence and has made many other substantial improvements on the property. 
which is lacking in none of the accessories and equipments of a model farm of 
the twentieth century. Prosperity has steadily attended his labors as an agricul- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 253 

turist and he is numbered among the successful and representative citizens of the 
community. 

On the 19th of February, 1887, Air. Lane was joined in wedlock to Miss 
Maria Bye, a daughter of Ole B. and Ida (Hofgaard) Bye, both of whom were 
natives of Norway. The father, who passed away in that country in 1880, held 
an office which is similar to that of sheriff in America. His widow afterward 
emigrated to the United States and resided in Decorah, Iowa, until the time of 
her death, which occurred in November, 1909. Mr. and Mrs. Lane are the 
parents of four children, as follows : Ida. who is twenty-four years of age ; Anna, 
a young lady of twenty-two; Roy, who is twenty years old; and Albert, a youth 
of fourteen. 

Mr. Lane is a republican in his political views and has ably served in the 
capacity of assessor of Decorah township for a period of fifteen years. His 
religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Lutheran church, to which 
his wife and children also belong. The period of his residence in this part of 
the state covers almost four decades and the circle of his friends is a wide one. 
Coming to the United States in early manhood, he eagerly availed himself of 
the opportunities here afforded and has attained a substantial position as an 
agriculturist of Winneshiek county. 



MIKE T- DREW" 



Mike J. Drew, a prosperous and successful farmer of Madison township, 
owning two hundred and forty-five acres of valuable land on section 28, is a 
native of Winneshiek county, born in Glenwood township, July 10, i860. He 
is a son of James and Catherine (O'Malley) Drew, natives of Ireland, the 
former of whom came to America and located in New York. After remaining 
there for a short time he and his wife came to Winneshiek county and bought 
land in Glenwood township. James Drew cleared, improved and developed 
this property during the remainder of his life, dying upon his holdings April 
3, 1894. His wife survives-him and still resides upon the homestead. 

Mike J. Drew was reared under the parental roof and acquired his educa- 
tion in the district schools of Glenwood township. Until he was twenty-two 
years of age he remained with his parents, becoming thoroughly familiar with 
the details of farm operation by assisting his father with the work of the 
homestead. When he began his independent career he rented land and operated 
this for three years, at the end of which time he joined his father and his 
brother, working the farms on shares. Eventually the father gave Mike T- 
Drew a quarter section of land on section 28, Madison township, and upon this 
property he has since resided, its neat and attractive appearance being evidence 
of his careful supervision. He has from time to time added to his holdings, 
which now comprise two hundred and forty-five acres of well improved land. 
and his standing in agricultural circles is high. 

I11 May, 1890, Mr. Drew was united in marriage to Miss Tane Sexton, a 
daughter of John and Johanna (Jones) Sexton, natives of Ireland. The father 
came to Winneshiek county at a very early date and turned his attention 



254 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

to farming, an occupation in which he is still active, owning a fine tract of land 
in Bluffton township. He is now eighty-four years of age and has survived his 
wife since 1888. Mr. and Mrs. Drew have become the parents of eight children, 
Catherine, Willie, Grace. Jennie, Bea, Loretta, Francis and Lucy. 

Mr. Drew is a stockholder in the Farmers Hog Buying Company of Decorah 
and in the Farmers Creamery Company of Ridgeway, and his ability is widely 
recognized in business circles. His political allegiance is given to the demo- 
cratic party and his religious views are those held by the Roman Catholic 
church. He is well and favorably known in this part of Winneshiek county, 
where his success has gained for him the respect of his associates and his 
honorable and upright life has won him the esteem and confidence of many 
friends. 



HENRY H. FRETHEIM. 

Henrv H. Fretheim, who since 1906 has owned and operated a fine farm of 
two hundred and seventy acres on section 21, Madison township, is well known 
in agricultural circles of this vicinity as a practical and successful farmer. He is 
one of Allamakee county's native sons, born February 2, 1864, his parents being 
John and Carrie (Anderson) Fretheim, natives of Norway. The father came 
to America at an early date and. settling in Allamakee county, purchased land, 
which he improved and operated for a short time. Eventually he sold his hold- 
ings and moved to Winneshiek county, where he purchased one hundred and 
fifty acres in Madison township. Upon this property he has since carried for- 
ward the work of improvement and development and upon it makes his home 
t< ulay. 

Henry H. Fretheim was reared and educated in Madison township, having 
been only three or four years of age when his parents removed to Winneshiek 
county. At the age of fifteen years he moved to Allamakee county and there 
operated land which his father owned until he was twenty-two years of age, 
when he returned to Madison township, renting his uncle's farm. After one 
year he went to Howard county, Iowa, and after renting a tract of land in that 
vicinity for two years moved to Chickasaw county. At the end of a similar 
period of time he returned home and again took up his residence upon his uncle's 
farm, which he continued to develop for four years thereafter. He then went to 
Texas and worked in his father's interest for two years in that state, being 
influenced in removing from it by the losses he incurred in the Galveston flood. 
Again returning to Winneshiek county, he farmed on rented land for nine years 
and then traded a farm which he owned in Minnesota for the property which he 
now owns. This tract comprises two hundred and seventy acres on section 21. 
Madison township, and upon it he has made substantial improvements, erecting 
fine barns and outbuildings. 

In April, 1886, Mr. Fretheim was united in marriage to Miss Annie Sever- 
son, a daughter of Ole and Sarah Severson, natives of Norwav. who came to> 
America at an early date and engaged in farming in Allamakee county, where 
they still reside. Mr. and Mrs. Fretheim became the parents of seven children. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 255 

five of whom are still living, Clara, Sandra, Olaf, Myrtle and Johnnie. Two 
other children, Johnnie and Eda, have passed away. 

Mr. Fretheim gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is a 
devout member of the Lutheran church. He is a stockholder in the Farmers 
Hog Buying Company of Decorah and his ability is recognized and respected in 
business circles. For several years past he has been influentially associated 
with the agricultural development of this township and he is a man whose high 
character and sterling qualities have always merited him the respect and con- 
fidence of his fellow citizens. 



HENRY J. ALBERS. 



For seventeen years Henry J. Albers has been prominently identified with 
agricultural interests of Winneshiek county and since 1901 has owned and oper- 
ated a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres on section 8, Lincoln township. 
He is a native son of this county, born in Canoe township, December 31, 1869, 
his parents being Henry and Elizabeth (Herr) Albers, natives of Germany. The 
father came to America when he was about eighteen years of age and after spend- 
ing two years in Illinois moved to Winneshiek county, where he engaged in farm- 
ing for a number of years. He eventually retired from active life and moved 
into Cresco, where his death occurred on the 1st of February, 19 10. His wife 
survives him and makes her home in Cresco. They were the parents of eleven 
children: George, who resides in Lake Benton, Minnesota; Anna, who became 
the wife of Albert Reinhardt, of Howard county ; Ida C, the deceased wife of 
John Bender; Henry J., of this review; John J., who is operating the old home- 
stead; Clara, who married John Kuntz, of Luck, Wisconsin; Emma R., who is 
the wife of Frank Blackburn, of Lincoln township; Albert and Fred W., of 
Cresco; a daughter who died in infancy; and Edward R., also a resident of 
Cresco. 

Henry J. Albers was reared at home and in his childhood divided his time 
between attendance at the country schools and work upon his father's farm. 
He began his independent career in 1896, when he rented one hundred and forty- 
seven acres in Lincoln township, whereon he resided for one year. At the end 
of that time he rented the homestead and operated this for three years, after 
which he rented one hundred and ninety acres in Lincoln township. At the 
end of two years he purchased land of his own, acquiring one hundred and 
twenty acres on section 8. This he has operated since 1901 and by following 
progressive and practical agricultural methods has made it a valuable and pro- 
ductive property. He engages in general farming and stock-raising and has met 
with success in both, standing today among the representative and able agricul- 
turists of his township. 

On the 16th of September, 1897, Mr. Albers was united in marriage to Miss 
Mary Blaser, a daughter of John and Mary (Luete) Blaser, natives of Switzer- 
land. Mr. and Mrs. Albers became the parents of three children: Raymond 
H., who was born September 15, 1898; a son, who died in infancy; and Arthur 
Edward, born April 3, 1901. 



256 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Mr. Albers is a member of the Methodist church and is a republican in his 
political beliefs. He has served twice as school director of his district. His 
entire life lias been spent in this part of Winneshiek county and he is widely 
known here, his business progressiveness and his personal worth having gained 
him the esteem and confidence of all who are associated with him. 



W. A. PLUNKETT. 



Among the substantial farmers of Winneshiek county is W. A. Plunkett. 
who owns valuable land on section 10. Hesper township, comprising two tracts, 
one of one hundred and fifteen acres and the other of seventy-eight acres. He 
is a native of Canada, having been born in Fullerton township, Perth county. 
Ontario. March 26, 1851. His parents were Joseph and Margaret ( Carr ) 
Plunkett. natives of County Antrim, Ireland. There they were married and in 
1848 went to the province of Ontario, Canada, locating upon a farm in Perth 
county, where they spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1861 
at the age of seventy-five years, and the mother in I'joj at the remarkable age 
of ninetv-three. During all of his active life the father followed tanning, secur- 
ing upon his arrival here one hundred acres of unimproved land which upon his 
death he left in the best of condition, all under cultivation and yielding large 
harvests. He was an elder of the Presbyterian church. 

\\". A. Plunkett resided on the home place until [888, acquiring his education 
in the neighboring schools and early learning thorough agricultural methods. 
Upon coming to Winneshiek county he purchased the farm upon which he now 
resides, comprising one hundred and fifteen acres on section 10, Hesper town- 
ship. He gives his undivided attention to the cultivation of his land, has made 
valuable improvements and installed such equipment as is considered indispen- 
sable by the modern agriculturists. In 19I1 his means permitted him to purchase 
another valuable farm of seventy-eight acres, known as the old Russell Tabor 
farm, in the village of Hesper. He now operates both of these properties. 

On the 27th of September, 1876, Air. Plunkett married Miss Sarah A. Worth, 
who was born in Perth county. ( hitario, Canada. February 15. 1859. Mr. and 
Mrs. Plunkett have five children: Maggie, the wife of J. P. Street, of Story City, 
who is superintendent of the city schools; Josie Maw who married Alfred B. 
Street, a school teacher of Cleveland, ( )hio ; John, a traveling salesman for a 
typewriter company of ( )maha, Nebraska ; Blanche, who married Grover Ruwe, 
of Butler, Oklahoma; and Lloyd, at home. 

In his political affiliations Mr. Plunkett is a republican and has always stanchlv 
supported the candidates of his party. He is now serving as one of the town- 
ship trustees and for the past ten years has held the position of justice of the 
peace to the general satisfaction of all. For nine years he served as a member 
of the school board of the independent district of Hesper, giving thereby evidence 
of his interest in the cause of education, and he served also as chairman of the ' 
board of health of his township and as chairman of the township board of trus- 
tees. For the past three years he has been president of the Hesper Telephone 
Company. He is a member of the Friends church. ( )ne of the substantial men 




MR. AND MRS. W. A. PLUNKETT 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 259 

of his locality, Mr. Plunkett enjoys the respect and esteem of all who know him, 
not only on account of his material achievements but also on account of the high 
qualities of his mind and character and his public-spirited citizenship. 



CHARLES W. PILGRIM. 

Winneshiek county numbers among her most valued and worthy citizens, 
Charles W. Pilgrim, whose fine farm of one hundred acres on section 14, Mad- 
ison township, is visible evidence of his life of industry and thrift. He has been 
a resident of Iowa since 1870 and has consequently witnessed a great deal of the 
later growth and development of the state, the years bringing him success, prom- 
inence and a comfortable fortune. He was born in England, December 14, 
1845, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Croft) Pilgrim, the former a native 
of England and the latter of Wales. The father came to America and settled 
in French Grove, Peoria county, Illinois, in 1851 and he remained there two 
years, moving at the end of that time to Knox county in the same state. He 
rented a farm, but one year later his wife died of cholera and the father moved 
from that property to another in Knox county. He afterwards married again 
and went to Henry county. Illinois, where he purchased land in the vicinity of 
Galva, operating this for a number of years. Eventually, however, he retired 
from active life and moved into Galva where he resided until his death in July, 
1882. 

Charles W. Pilgrim was only six years of age when his parents came to 
America and he acquired his education in the district schools of Illinois. After 
his mother's death he made his home with his sister until he was eighteen years 
of age. after which he worked out by the month as a farm laborer for five years. 
At the end of that time he married and rented a farm near French Grove. This 
property he operated for two years and then moved to Buena Vista county, Iow r a, 
making his first location in that state in 1870. After a short time he moved 
into Clay county and there, took up a homestead claim of eighty acres which he 
improved and operated for seven years. A more than usually destructive grass- 
hopper invasion, however, at length caused him to sell his farm and move into 
Winneshiek county where he had previously spent one season operating a thresh- 
ing outfit and a clover huller for W. C. Cook of Hesper. When he returned 
after disposing of his property in Clay county, he settled in Hesper, bought 
property there and turned his attention to the teaming business. After nine 
years he hired out to William Beard & Sons as a cream hauler and thus began 
a connection with ' creamery interests of this vicinity which extended over a 
number of years. After two years and a half as hauler he was made cream in- 
spector and overseer of all the routes controlled by his employers and during this 
period superintended the erection of a creamery at Galeville, Wisconsin, and 
established the interests of William Beard & Sons in that city. Tiring of outside 
work, Mr. Pilgrim was transferred to Ridgeway, where he superintended the 
erection of the creamery there and after its completion took full charge of the 
plant, acting also as buttermaker. At the end of three years he formed an as- 
sociation with H. and L. W. Beard, and the partners bought land, Mr. Pilgrim 



260 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

taking charge of the property in which lie owned a half interest. At the end 
of seven years during which he brought this farm to a high state of cultivation, 
he purchased four hundred acres on section 14, Madison township, and began 
its improvement and development. The farm upon which he now resides is a 
portion of this property and reflects everywhere the many years of careful 
supervision and practical labor that have been bestowed upon it. As his sons 
married he gave each one hundred acres, but one son sold to his two brothers, 
who now control tracts one hundred and fifty acres in extent. Mr. Pilgrim has 
retained one hundred acres and makes his home upon it, being numbered today 
among the men whose well directed labors have been forces in the agricultural 
development of this part of the state. 

On the 3d of November, 1S68, Mr. Pilgrim was united in marriage to Miss 
Nancy E. Boyer, a daughter of Levi and Mary A. ( Turbit ) Boyer, natives of 
Pennsylvania. The father went to Illinois at an early date and turned his atten- 
tion to farming, operating a fine property in that state until his death which 
occurred in 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim became the parents of four children: 
John Edward, who resides in Marshalltown, Iowa ; Charles C. and William 
Franklin, engaged in farming on properties adjoining their father's; and Walter 
B., a farmer in Frankville township. 

Mr. Pilgrim is a member of the Methodist church and his political allegiance 
is given to the republican party. He is not active as an office seeker, but during 
the many years of his residence in Winneshiek has been always interested in 
public affairs, and has borne an active and honorable part in the work of develop- 
ment. He is widely known and favorably regarded among the people of this 
locality, who respect his success and honor the methods by which it was attained. 



LEWIS K. NESTE. 



Lewis K. Neste is engaged in the operation of a tract of eighty acres, located 
on section ,26, Madison township, but quite recently has purchased a valuable 
farm of eighty acres in Canoe township, three and a half miles north of Decorah, 
for which he paid one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre. He is a native 
son of Madison township, the date of his birth being September 27, 1876. His 
parents, Knute K. and Gro (Tostenson) Neste, were natives of Norway. Upon 
their emigration to America, they settled at McGregor, Iowa, where the father 
worked for some time in the timber woods. He eventually engaged in farming, 
however, purchasing land in Madison township, which he cultivated until his 
demise on the 4th of January, 191 1. His wife preceded him to the home beyond, 
her death occurring in September, 1903. 

Lewis K. Neste was educated in the district schools and was trained to the 
work of the farm from early age. He remained with his parents until 
twenty-three years of age, when he engaged in operating a threshing machine 
and in drilling wells. He followed this business for three seasons, when he once 
more took up agricultural pursuits, operating the old homestead for five years. 
He then rented the farm known as the Dubb place, comprising eighty acres in 
Madison township, and here he has since made his home. He follows progres- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 261 

sive methods in his farm work and each year is rewarded by abundant harvests. 
He has recently become an owner by the purchase of a highly improved farm of 
eighty acres in Canoe township. He is a stockholder in the Farmers Creamery 
Company and in the Famers Hog Buying Company of Decorah. 

Mr. Neste chose as a companion and helpmate for life, Miss Christena Gull- 
ickson, whom he wedded on the 17th of January, 1906. She is a daughter of 
Tames and Ingeborg ( Luken ) Gullickson. who were natives of Norway, and upon 
their emigration to America chose Winneshiek county as their place of abode. 
The father here purchased a farm and has since given his attention to its further 
improvement and cultivation. 

In politics Mr. Neste is a republican, and in religious faith is a Lutheran. 
He is a conscientious, upright man, adhering strictly to honest methods in all 
business transactions, and all who know him have for him high regard and com- 
mendation. 



OLE S. MAGNUS. 



Ole S. Magnus, whose life has been spent within the borders of Winneshiek 
county and who has devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits 
throughout his entire business career, is the owner of a well improved and valu- 
able farm of one hundred and twenty acres on section 15, Lincoln township. 
His birth occurred in that township on the 24th of August, 1868, his parents 
being Samuel and Anna (Kettleson) Magnus, natives of Norwap. When a 
youth of thirteen the father came to Winneshiek county, Iowa, locating in Lin- 
coln township. When nineteen years of age he enlisted for service in the Union 
army as a member of Company E, Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry, with which com- 
mand he remained for one year and was then discharged because of disability. 
He gave his time and energies to farming throughout his active business career 
and at his demise owned two hundred and eighty acres of rich and productive 
land. In his passing the community lost one of its substantial agriculturists and 
esteemed citizens. 

Ole S. Magnus spent the first twenty-six years of his life under the parental 
roof and, assisting his father with the work of the fields, gained a comprehensive 
knowledge of the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. Start- 
ing out as an agriculturist on his own account, he purchased a tract of eighty 
acres from his father but subsequently disposed of the property and bought the 
farm of one hundred and twenty acres on section 15, Lincoln township, on which 
he now resides. The place is splendidly improved, and the well tilled fields 
annually yield golden harvests as a reward for the care and labor which is be- 
stowed upon them. In connection with the cultivation of cereals Mr. Magnus 
also devotes considerable attention to stock-raising, meeting with success in both 
branches of his business. 

On the 3d of October, 1898, Mr. Magnus was united in marriage to Miss 
Randina Johnson Hovden, a daughter of George Johnson and Randina Sned- 
srud Johnson Hovden, both natives of Norway. Her father served for three 



262 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

years as a member of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Infantry during the period of 
the Civil war, holding the rank of first sergeant in Company G. 

In his political views Mr. Magnus is a stanch republican, supporting the men 
and measures of that party at the polls. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran 
church. His life has been well spent, in harmony with his' professions, and in 
every relation he has been honorable and upright, winning for himself the warm 
regard of his fellow citizens. 



WALKER DE COU. 



Among Winneshiek county's most progressive, prominent and active native 
sons is numbered Walker De Cou. who since the beginning of his business career 
has been operating the homestead farm in Military township upon which he was 
born and reared. He is, moreover, a worthy representative of one of the most 
honored and respected pioneer families of this section of the state, his father, 
Judge John De Cou, having located here in 1851 among the earliest settlers. He 
was a native of Norfolk county, Ontario, Canada, born on the 16th of April, 
1X24, and he there attended school until eighteen years of age, afterward engag- 
ing in teaching for about six years. At the end of that time he entered the 
University of Canada, which he attended for about two years, completing in 
that institution an excellent and comprehensive education. On the 10th of 
lune, 1850, he was married in Port Dover, Canada, to Miss Mary De Cou, his 
second couain, and in the same year emigrated to Iowa, locating first in Bloom- 
field township. Winneshiek county, where he remained for three years. In 
1853 he bought land in Military township, acquiring at that time one hundred 
and sixty acres on section 1 and adding to this from time to time until he became 
one of the most extensive landowners in this section of the state. By con- 
stantly following the most practical and progressive methods he made his farm 
a productive and valuable property, developing it from a wild tract into a well 
cultivated and model farm. He won a place among the most successful and 
prosperous farmers of the vicinity. Always a progressive and public-spirited 
citizen he identified himself closely with community affairs, and was honored 
by his fellow citizens by election to various important positions of trust, serving 
as chairman of the board of supervisors and assessor of Military township. In 
1861 he was made judge of Winneshiek county and he served with credit and 
distinction for two years. He was elected to the state legislature in 1873 an( l 
during his term of service his influence and his vote were always on the side of 
right, reform and progress, his labors contributing to the passing of a great 
deal of important legislation. He was a democrat of the old school, a stanch 
and loyal supporter of the principles and policies of that party and an active 
worker in its ranks. He won widespread renown and distinction and at his 
death the Decorah Republic spoke of him as "one who in his youth and activity 
was one of the most ' prominent and able members of the democratic party." 
He passed away on the 21st of December, 1912, at the age of eighty-eight years, 
and in his passing Winneshiek county lost one of its representative and substantial 
citizens and one of the earliest and greatest of its pioneers. Judge De Cou and 




JUDGE JOHN DE COU 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 265 

his wife became the parents of three children: Eber, who is engaged in farming 
in Springfield township; Charles, deceased; and Walker of this review. 

Walker De Cou was reared upon the family homestead in Military township 
and acquired his education in the district schools. From his early boyhood he 
assisted with the work of the farm and thus he early became familiar with the 
details of farm operation, gaining an experience and knowledge which has been 
invaluable to him in later years. He has never left the homestead, which he 
now owns and operates, giving his attention to farming and stock-raising, and 
success has steadily attended his well directed and practical labors. He is today 
in control of one of the finest agricultural properties in this part of Iowa, well 
managed and substantially improved and reflecting in its neat and attractive 
appearance the careful supervision of its owner. 

Walker De Cou married Mrs. Cornelia (Rusling) McWade, the widow of 
George McWade, by whom she had two daughters: Lelia, the wife of Arthur 
Soell, a chemist in La Crosse, Wisconsin: and Marie, who married Harry 
Alexander, accountant with the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad at Chicago, 
Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. De Cou have a son, Oliver, who lives at home. 

Fraternally Mr. De Cou is identified with the Masonic order and the Modern 
Woodmen of America, and his religious views are in accord with the doctrines 
of the Episcopal church. Like his father, he is a stanch democrat and interested 
in the welfare and growth of the party, although he never seeks office for him- 
self. His record is a credit to his name, which has long been an honored one 
in this part of Iowa, and he commands the respect and confidence of all who are 
in any way associated with him. 



OLE GULL1KSON. 



Ole Gullikson, who since 1897 has been prominently connected with agri- 
cultural interests of Lincoln township, owning and operating his present farm 
of eighty acres on section 16, was born in this part of Winneshiek county, March 
2i, 1861. He is a son of Gullik Thompson and Sarah (Olson) Gullikson, of 
whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work in connection with the 
sketch of Theodore Gullikson. 

Ole Gullikson remained at home until he was seventeen years of age and then 
went to South Dakota, where he remained for about two months. He then spent 
eight months in North Dakota and in the spring moved to Minnesota. After a 
short stay in that state he returned to Winneshiek county and at the end of 
eight years went again to Minnesota, where he spent two years in the Red River 
country. However, his property was destroyed at the time of the floods in 
that district and he returned home. Here he farmed on rented land for three 
vears but in 1897 purchased the eighty acre tract upon which he has since resided. 
This property has been improved with substantial barns and outbuildings and 
Mr. Gullikson has neglected nothing that would add to its attractive appearance 
or its value. He engages in general farming and stock-raising and as the years 
have gone by his energy, industry and capable management have brought to him 
well earned and justly merited success. For the past thirty years he has oper- 



266 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

ated a threshing machine for himself and his neighbors, and this branch of his 
activities has proven very profitable. 

On the 2d of February. 1885, Mr. Gullikson was united in marriage to Miss 
Dena Botner. a daughter of Erick and Maren Botner, natives of Norway, both 
of whom have passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Gullikson have become the parents 
of six children: Alma, who is the wife of Bert Butz, of Ridgeway ; Edna, of 
North Dakota; Alfred, whose home is in Saskatchewan, Canada; Lillian, at 
home ; Gleora, also residing in North Dakota ; and Henry, at home. 

Mr. Gullikson gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is a 
devout member of the Lutheran church. One of the successful farmers and 
business men of Lincoln township, he is well known throughout Winneshiek 
county. During his life he has carefully noted and utilized his opportunities, 
making each moment count, and his example of unremitting industry and per- 
severance is one well worthy of emulation. 



HENRY J. FRETHEIM. 

Agricultural and stock-raising interests of Madison township find a pro- 
gressive and worthy representative in Henry J. Fretheim, who owns two hun- 
dred and forty acres of line land on sections 20 and 28. He is one of Winne- 
shiek county's progressive and successful native sons, his birth having occurred 
August 1. 1872. His parents, Jens and Asa (Hellen) Fretheim, were born in 
Norway and the father came to America and located in Wisconsin at a very 
early date. After a short time spent in that state he moved to Allamakee county, 
where he lived a year or two, and then came to Winneshiek county, where he 
purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Madison township, improving 
and developing this fine property until his death, which occurred in 1887. His 
wife survived him for a number of years, dying in March, 1912. 

Henry J. Fretheim was reared and educated in Madison township and after 
completing the course in the district schools attended Valder's Business College 
at Decorah. After his father's death the homestead came into his possession 
but he did not immediately take up his residence upon it. renting the land and 
going to Decorah, where he resided for nine years thereafter. At the end of that 
time he came back to the farm, turning his attention to its operation, and since 
that time he has made his home upon the property, which under his able manage- 
ment has become profitable and productive. The land lies on sections 20 and 
28, Madison township, and Mr. Fretheim has added to the original tract until 
his holdings now comprise two hundred and forty acres. 

< >n the 17th of March, 18117. Mr. Fretheim was united in marriage to Miss 
Bertha Hove, a daughter of Knut and Cornelia (Fendring) Hove, natives of 
Norway, who located in Winneshiek county and moved from there to Dakota, 
where the father took up land, which he is still operating. His wife passed 
away in the fall of 1912. Mr. and Mrs. Fretheim have become the parents of 
seven children: Joel; Glora; Herman; Clarissa; Lloyd; Parnell ; and Evelyn, who 
died in [899 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 267 

Mr. Fretheim owns a fine home on Franklin street in Decorah and is a stock- 
holder in the Farmers Hog Buying Company of that city. His political allegi- 
ance is given to the republican party and he is a devout member of the Lutheran 
church. He stands high in both a business and a social sense and well deserves 
mention as one of the representative agriculturists of Winneshiek county. 



GUSTAVE JOHNSON. 



Gustave Johnson makes his home an section 21, Glenwood township, where 
he owns and operates a tract of land of one hundred and forty-seven acres. I [e 
began farming twenty-six years ago, previous to which time he had been iden- 
tified with journalistic and publishing interests. He started out in life on his 
own account when but twelve years of age and whatever success he has achieved 
has come to him as the merited reward of his industry, perseverance and capable 
management. He was born near Christiania, Norway, October 18, 1855. and 
is a son of Andrew and Anna Johnson, who in the year 1864 crossed the Atlantic 
and became residents of Madison, Wisconsin, where their remaining days were 
passed. The father was a merchant tailor and conducted a store in Madison, 
also owning a farm near that city. He likewise was the leader of two bands in 
Madison, the Lake City Cornet Band and the Governor's Guard Band. In 
early life he had spent four years in Berlin as a musician and had led bands in 
Norway. He possessed much natural musical talent which he cultivated through 
continuous study and practice. He was married in Norway and in that country 
three of his children were born two of whom died in Norway in early life. 
Four others born in the United States who have passed away are: Julia, who died 
in Chicago in 1912 ; Emma and Clara, who died of diphtheria when sixteen and 
eighteen vears of age respectively; and Carl, a jeweler who died at the age of 
twenty-one years. The surviving members of the family are Gustave and Mrs. 
Bertha Muggy, of Seattle, Washington. 

Gustave Johnson resided with his parents in Wisconsin until fifteen years 
of age but in the meantime began earning his living as an employe in a printing 
house. He worked on Norwegian papers in Madison and at Marshall, Wisconsin, 
and remained in the newspaper field for twenty years, being employed in several 
states, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He also worked for nine 
years in a publishing house in Decorah but twenty-six years ago turned his 
attention to general agricultural pursuits, settling on his present farm of one 
hundred and forty-seven acres on section 21, Glenwood township. It is an 
excellent property and most of the improvements have been made by him. He 
makes stock-raising the principal feature of the place, feeding all of the grain 
raised to his stock. He has led a busy and useful life and his success is the 
legitimate outcome of his earnest and intelligently directed labors. 

In 1881 Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Henrietta Sander, 
who was born in Winneshiek county in 1861, a daughter of Brede B. and Karen 
Sander, who were natives of Norway and came to the United States in 185 1, 
arriving in Winneshiek county when Decorah contained but three houses. They 
continued to reside upon the farm in this county throughout their remaining 



268 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

days- The mother, who was horn January jo, iSji. died in Madison township, 
August 2, 1868. The father, who was born January 12, 1822, passed away 
October 9, 1905. He was a pioneer farmer of both Iowa and Dakota. He entered 
land here when Winneshiek county was upon the frontier and afterward secured 
claims in Dakota, but later returned to this county where he continued to reside 
until called to his final rest. It was in 1871 that he took up his abode upon the 
farm which is now owned and occupied by Mr. Johnson. Mr. and Mrs. Sander 
were the parents of seven children : Jane, the wife of C. M. Hanson, of Lincoln 
township; Brede, who died in South Dakota; Anton, who won the degree of 
Ph. D. and was a professor in the Flushing Institute of New York but is now 
deceased; Anna, the wife of Rev. C. N. Peterson, of Hibbing, Minnesota: Ellen, 
the widow of O. E. Bakke, of Frankville township; Henrietta, now Mrs. John- 
son ; and Bernt, of Glenwood township. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born nine children: George, who 
was an electrical engineer but is now deceased; Charles; Emma, the wife of 
C. D. Hexom, of Allamakee county; Mabel, who died at the age of ten years; 
Lily ; Esther ; Anna ; William ; and Arthur. 

Mr. Johnson has been quite prominent in local affairs and his influence is 
ever on the side of right, progress and improvement. For the past sixteen years 
he has served as township clerk and for many years was president of the town- 
ship school board. For a decade he has been the president of the Glenwood 
Farmers Telephone Company and in this and other directions has aided in the 
material development of the district. Moral progress is also a matter of interest 
to him as is indicated by the fact that he was secretary of the First Lutheran 
Church of Glenwood for eleven years and has been treasurer for the past six- 
years. His political allegiance was formerly given to the republican party but he 
is now allied with the progressives. He believes in advancement in all things, 
political as well as otherwise, and his progressive spirit is manifest in what he 
has accomplished in the business world, working his way steadily upward from 
the aee of twelve vears. 



TOHN I. DP FAY 



John J. Drew, who for many years has been influentially associated with farm- 
ing and stock-raising interests of Madison township, owning four hundred and 
forty acres of land on section 27, w : as born in Glenwood township, this county, 
in February, 1857, and is a son of James and Catherine (O'Malley) Drew, of 
whom extended mention is made elsewhere in this work. 

John J. Drew was reared at home and acquired his education in the district 
-die m ils. remaining with his parents until he was twenty-seven years of age. 
Having from his early childhood assisted his father with the work of the home- 
stead, he was at that time a practical and progressive agriculturist and excellently 
trained for his independent career. He began it by assuming full charge of 
the home property, which he operated for three years thereafter, or until 1888, 
when his father gave him one hundred and sixty acres on section 27, Madison 
township. This he has improved and operated since that time, adding to his 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 269 

holdings as his financial resources permitted until he now owns four hundred 
and forty acres, well improved and highly cultivated. 

In February, 1888, Mr. Drew was united in marriage to Miss Bridget Car- 
olan. a daughter of John and Johanna (Casey) Carolan, natives of Ireland. The 
father was a farmer in that country and when he came to America and located 
in Ohio turned his attention to his former occupation. He eventually came to 
Winneshiek county and bought and improved a fine tract of land in Bluff ton 
township, whereon he is now residing. He has survived his wife since 1905. 
Mr. and Mrs. Drew have become the parents of six children, Katie, Mamie, 
Rose, Josephine, Florence and Emmett. Mr. Drew's political allegiance is given 
to the democratic party and his religious views are in accord with the doctrines 
of the Roman Catholic church. He bears an unsullied reputation for business 
integrity as well as an enterprising spirit and his success is well merited, for he 
is capable in management and displays untiring industry in carrying forward 
his interests. 



PHILIP SCHMIDT. 



For twenty-three years Philip Schmidt has lived upon his farm of two hun- 
dred acres on sections 8 and 17, Lincoln township, and during that time has 
carried forward the work of its development along progressive and modern lines 
until today he is the owner of one of the finest agricultural properties in this 
vicinity. He was born in Franklin county, Indiana, July 9, 1854, and is a son 
of Andrew and Margaret (Speise) Schmidt, natives of Germany. The father 
came to America in 1851 and located in Indiana, where he remained until i860, 
when he moved to Winneshiek county. Fie purchased land in Lincoln township 
and there resided until 1902. when he retired from active life and moved to 
Cresco, where his death occurred May 20, 1913. He had survived his wife many 
years, her death taking place July 14. 1881. To their union were born ten 
children : Philip, of this review ; Jacob, of Cass county, Iowa ; Christian and 
Henry, who reside in Howard county ; William, who makes his home in Huron, 
South Dakota ; Andrew, of Howard county ; John, who is cashier of a bank in 
Elliott, Iowa; Margaret, who married John Huff, of Tenney, Minnesota; Han- 
nah, the wife of Albert Carvelli, also of that city; and Barbara, who married 
Alfred Peters, of Lincoln township. 

Philip Schmidt left home at the age of sixteen years and since that time has 
been continuously identified with agricultural pursuits. In 1882 he rented one 
hundred and sixty acres of land in Howard county and after developing this 
for three years rented the two hundred acre tract in Lincoln township, known 
as the John Kohnan farm. In 1890 he purchased this property which he now 
operates and here for almost a quarter of a century has ably carried forward 
the work of development, erecting a fine two-story residence, good barns and 
outbuildings and fencing his property into fields of convenient size. His general 
farming and stock-raising interests are extensive and ably conducted, bringing 
him a gratifying measure of success. 



270 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

On the 9th of February, 1882, Mr. Schmidt was united in marriage to Miss 
Augusta Knuth and they became the parents of four children : Clara, who clerks 
in a store at Cresco, Iowa ; and William, Elsie and Esther, at home. On the 20th 
of April, 1912, Mrs. Schmidt passed away and was buried at the Methodist 
cemetery in Lincoln township, and since then Elsie and Esther are keeping house 
for their father. Mr. Schmidt is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church 
and is a republican in his political beliefs, having served for nine years as school 
director. He is a man of high moral character, industrious and enterprising, 
and his honesty and uprightness have merited him the confidence and respect of 
his neighbors. 



CHRISTIAN J. SIVESIND. 

Among the worthy and representative citizens that Norway has furnished to 
Winneshiek county is numbered Christian J. Sivesind, who was born in the land 
of the midnight sun, December 28, 1846, his parents being Johannes and Olina 
Sivesind, who in the year 1853 came to the United States and settled upon the 
farm where their son Christian now resides, spending their remaining days there. 
Both reached a good age, for the father, who was born February 19, 1805, 
passed away April 29, 1885, when in the eighty-first year of his age; and the 
mother, who was born March 6, 1817, died March 2$, 1895. Mr. Sivesind had 
followed shoemaking in his native country, five men working under him, They 
tanned the leather, which they would take to the farmers' homes and there make 
shoes for different members of the family, according to the custom of the times. 
In 1882 Christian J. Sivesind returned to Norway and talked with many of his 
father's old friends, who spoke of him as a fine workman who had made wedding 
shoes for many of them. 

After coming to the new world Johannes Sivesind turned his attention to 
agricultural pursuits and stock-raising, to which he devoted his remaining days, 
becoming owner of two hundred acres of land, which he carefully and success- 
fully cultivated. After becoming a naturalized American citizen he cast his first 
vote for Abraham Lincoln in i860 and was thereafter a republican, never falter- 
ing in his allegiance to the party. He was an active and helpful member of the 
Lutheran church and subscribed to the building of Luther College in Decorah. 
Unto him and his wife were born nine children : Maria, now living in Min- 
neapolis ; Johanna, the wife of George Anderson, of Frankville township ; Johan, 
who was a pioneer of both the Dakotas and Montana and died in 191 1 ; Chris- 
tian J. ; Mina, who died at the age of nineteen years; Emma, the wife of the Rev. 
J. A. Blilie, of Flandreau, South Dakota; Ole, who died in infancy; Olena, of 
Charleston, North Dakota, who is the widow of J. J. Worley, who was a school 
teacher and merchant and also postmaster there, but died in 1910; and Julianna, 
who married Barrd Hulverson, but both are now deceased. 

Six decades have come and gone since Christian J. Sivesind took up his 
abode upon the farm which is now his home. He today owns one hundred and 
twenty acres of well improved land on section 26. Clenwood township, and is one 
of the progressive farmers of the district. His only absence from the home 




JIR. AND MRS. JOHANNES S1VESIND 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 273 

place occurred when he was a student in Luther College at Decorah. in which he 
spent two and a half years. He has worked diligently and persistently to bring 
his land under a high state of cultivation, and he has upon his place good farm 
machinery and modern equipments. 

On the 19th of December, 1901, Mr. Sivesind was married to Miss Christina 
Evenrud, who was born in Glenwood township and is a daughter of Andrew and 
Carenna Evenrud, of whom mention is made on another page of this volume in 
connection with the sketch of Nels A. Evenrud. 

In politics Mr. Sivesind has always been a republican, stanchly supporting 
the principles of the party. He has held all of the township offices, save that of 
justice of the peace, to which he has been elected on four different occasions but 
would never qualify. He was postmaster at Woodville until the office was dis- 
continued, and in 1900 he was census enumerator. He holds membership in the 
First Lutheran church, in which he has filled various official positions, and at all 
times his life has been actuated by high and honorable principles in harmony 
with his professions as a member of the church. He was a little lad of but six 
years when brought by his parents to the new world, and since that time he has 
resided continuously in Winneshiek county, always identified with its agricul- 
tural interests, and the record which he has made is a commendable one. 



ANTON O. DAHLE. 



Madison township numbers among its worthy and valued citizens Anton O. 
Dahle, who has worked diligently and persistently to develop his fine farm of 
three hundred and sixty-five acres on sections 12 and 13, and in so doing has won 
a place among representative and substantial agriculturists. He was born in 
Winneshiek county on July 28, 1866, and is a son of Ole and Aase (Hellen) 
Iverson Dahle, natives of Norway. The father came to America and located 
in Winneshiek county. Iowa, about the year 1855. He purchased a farm in 
Madison township and began improving and developing this property, operating 
it until his death in 1868, his wife surviving him many years, dying in 191 1. 

Anton O. Dahle was reared at home and acquired his education in the district 
schools of Madison township. He remained with his mother and operated the 
homestead until he was thirty years of age. At twenty-one he had purchased 
eighty acres of land and this he developed for nine years thereafter, while still 
residing at home. He then rented a place close to the eighty acres which he had 
bought and stayed there for three years. The next year after buying the eighty 
acres he came in for forty acres of the homestead and then also rented his 
brother's place of one hundred and twenty acres. He subsequently bought the 
eighty acres which is part of the farm on which he now lives, on sections 12 and 
13, Madison township, and gradually added to this tract until he owns today 
three hundred and sixty-five acres of well improved land, in the cultivation of 
which he is successful. He is in addition a stockholder in the Farmers Cream- 
ery Company and the Farmers Hog Buying Company of Decorah. His busi- 
ness interests are all carefully controlled, so that he has now reached a plane of 
affluence and is numbered among the representative citizens of his township. 



•J74 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

In March, 1895, Mr. Dahle was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Void, the 
adopted daughter of Elling and Mary Void, natives of Norway. When the 
father came to America he turned his attention to farming in Winneshiek county, 
buying land which he operated until his death in 1901. His wife survived him 
several years, passing away in 1909. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dahle became the parents of seven children : Olaf, who was 
the first born, and died 111 1896, when he was one month old; Odin, born May 
14, 1897; Elmer, whose birthday was October 4, 1899; Arthur, whose natal day 
was October 30, 1901 ; Idella. born May 27, 1904; Lawrence, whose day of 
birth was August 23, [906; and Julia, born October 6, 1909. 

Mr. Dahle gives his political allegiance to the progressive party. He is a 
member of the Lutheran church and his entire life has been characterized by 
devotion to manly purpose and honorable principles. In all his business deal- 
ings he is straightforward and reliable, and he enjoys to the fullest extent the 
confidence and good-will of those who know him. 



JOIl X RFIXHART. 



Farming and stock-raising interests of Winneshiek county find a progressive 
and worthy representative in John Reinhart, whose attractive homestead lies on 
section 14, Lincoln township, and comprises one hundred and ten acres. He 
was born in Fayette county, this state July 9, 1868, and is a son of Samuel and 
Annie (Layman) Reinhart, natives of Switzerland. The father came to America 
when he was twenty-one years of age and located in Elgin, Iowa, where he 
resided for a number of years. He is now living in retirement in the vicinity 
of Cresco. He and his wife became the parents of thirteen children, those 
beside our subject being: Lena, who married Ford Smith, of Alta Vista; Emma, 
the wife of Jacob Boutz, of Ridgeway; Albert, of Howard county, this state; 
Louis, residing in Alta Vista; Rosie, the wife of F. Heimerdinger, of Howard 
county; Louisa, deceased; Samuel, of Alta Vista ; William, a resident of Cresco; 
Fred, who makes his home in Alta Vista; Annie, the wife of August Omacht, 
of Cresco; Lydia, who married George Hackspear, of Alta Vista ; and Celia, 
who died in childln •< >d. 

John Reinhart remained with his parents until he was twenty-one years of 
age and then moved to Ridgeway. where he worked at farm labor for three 
years. During this time he saved his money and at the expiration of the period 
rented two hundred acres in Chickasaw county. He remained upon this prop- 
erty for one year and then returned to Howard county, where he rented the 
homestead for five years. In 1898 he moved to Lincoln township and here 
bought one hundred and ten acres of land on section 14. Upon this property 
he has since resided, steadily carrying forward the work of improvement and 
development and making it by constant and well directed labor a productive and 
valuable farm. 

In November, 1894, Mr. Reinhart was united in marriage to Miss Carrie 
Kuntz and they became the parents of five children: Emma, Vernie, Myrtle and 
Gladys, at home: and a son who died in infancy. Mr. Reinhart is a member 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 275 

of the Methodist church and is a republican in his political beliefs, taking an in- 
telligent interest in public affairs without being active as an office seeker. He is 
well known in Winneshiek county, where his personal worth and excellent quali- 
ties of mind and character have gained him many friends. 



CHARLES 1. KUNTZ. 



Charles T- Kuntz, the owner of an excellent farm of one hundred and forty 
acres on section 20, Lincoln township, devotes his attention to agricultural 
pursuits with most gratifying results. His birth occurred in Indiana on the 
22d of February, 1872, his parents being Andrew and Barbara (Butz) Kuntz, 
more extended mention of whom is made on another page of this work in con- 
nection with the sketch of Samuel F. Kuntz, a brother of our subject. 

Charles J. Kuntz spent the first eighteen years of his life in his native state 
and in 1890 came with his parents to this county. He has since remained on 
the old homestead in Lincoln township, purchasing the place in 1907. It com- 
prises one hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land and is well im- 
proved in every particular. Mr. Kuntz carries on both farming and stock-rais- 
ing and for about ten years has also been running a thresher. In his under- 
takings he has won a well merited measure of success, for he ever follows the 
most modern and up-to-date methods and is thoroughly conversant with agri- 
culture in all of its phases. 

On the 2d of September, 1908, Mr. Kuntz was united in marriage to Miss 
Florence Hornberger, by whom he has two children, namely : Alice Eveline, who 
was born on the 31st of May, 1909; and Grace Laurine, whose natal day was 
September 23, 191 1. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Kuntz has sup- 
ported the men and measures of the republican party. In religious faith he is a 
Methodist. He is well known and highly respected throughout the community 
and is numbered among its enterprising citizens. He is a man of unblemished 
character and always to be relied upon to give his influence to any cause seek- 
ing the advancement of the moral and educational interests of the people. 



IOHN G. HANKEN. 



Among the most progressive and successful farmers of Washington town- 
ship is numbered John G. Hanken, carrying on general agricultural pursuits and 
stock-raising upon one hundred and ninety-nine acres of choice land lying on 
sections 20, 21 and 15. He was born in Erie county. New York, on the 27th of 
April, 1851, and is a son of Bernard and Bernadina ( Lamers ) Hanken, natives 
of Westphalia, Germany. They came to America in 1847, locating in New York, 
where they spent about twelve years before removing to Ohio, whence after four- 
teen years they came, in 1876, to Winneshiek county, Iowa. The father bought 
land on section 15, Washington township, and worked as a carpeter and builder 



276 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

for many years, finally retiring and moving to Festina, where he now resides at 
the age of ninety-one. He has long survived his wife, who passed away when the 
subject of this review was still a child. In their family were two children; John 
C. of this review; and Henry, deceased. Bernard Hanken was twice married, 
his second wife being Miss Agnes Tettman, and to their union were burn the fol- 
lowing children; Joseph, Bernard and Frank, deceased: Mary, the wife of John 
Rothmeyer, of Festina; Catherine, the widow of William Hess, of Festina ; 
Agnes, who married Charles Kesslcr. of Wisconsin; William, who resides in 
Oelwein, Iowa; Frank, of Wisconsin; Theresa, the wife of Barney Kleve ; and 
Annie, deceased. Airs. Hanken passed away on the 14th of February, 1910. 

John G. Hanken acquired his education in the public schools of Xew York 
and Ohio and came to Iowa at the same time as his father, being at that time 
twenty-five years of age. He afterward remained at home for ten years, farming 
in association with his father, and at the end of that time purchased ninety acres 
in Military township, upon which he resided for about eight years. Disposing 
of this property, he moved into Festina, where he followed the carpenter's trade 
for some time, but he eventually resumed his farming operations, buying one 
hundred and nine acres of land on sections 20 and 21, Washington township, 
to which he has since added ninety acres on section 15. Upon this fine property 
he carries on general farming and stock-raising and success has steadily attended 
his well directed labors, his farm reflecting everywhere the careful supervision 
of a practical and able agriculturist. In addition to this property he owns a fine 
home in Festina and is favorably regarded in that city. 

Mr. Hanken married Miss Annie Kleve, a daughter of Antone and Margaret 
(Schrandt) Kleve, and they became the parents of nine children: Margaret M., 
the wife of F. H. Brockamp, of Washington township; Antone B., who is attend- 
ing college; William, who lives at home; Ida C, the wife of Harry Brockamp, 
of Military township; and Catherine H., John A., Annie B., Edward B. and 
Frank H., all of whom live at home. 

Mr. Hanken is a member of the Roman Catholic church and he gives his 
political allegiance to the democratic party, serving at the present time as assessor 
of Washington township. Fraternally he is connected with the Roman Catholic 
Protective Association. His good qualities of heart and mind have gained for 
him the friendship of many and the high regard of all who know him, while his 
business record commends him to the confidence of his fellowmen, for at 
times he is reliable and straightforward. 



a I 



THOMAS TORKELSOX. 

Among the prosperous farmers of Lincoln township, Winneshiek county, is 
Thomas Torkelson, who was born on section 10. that township, October 23, 1871. 
He is a son of Iver and Gjer (Hildahl) Torkelson, both natives of Norway. 
The father came to America about 1861, locating in Dane county, Wisconsin, 
where he remained for three years before coming to this county. Settling in 
Lincoln township, he here followed agricultural pursuits until his death, which 
occurred March 3, 1897. He was highly esteemed and respected by all who 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 277 

knew him. His wife survives and makes her home with our subject. To them 
were born five children : Martha, at home ; Ellen Maria, the wife of N. J. 
Ofstadahl, of Cresco ; Thomas, of this review ; Olena, who married A. K. Sandven, 
of Streeter, North Dakota ; and John G., deceased. 

Thomas Torkelson, in the acquirement of his education, attended the district 
schools near his father's farm and then took a course in Valder College for about 
two and a half years, graduating in 1897. He then returned to the old home and 
has ever since cultivated its one hundred and nine acres. The farm shows care 
and well expended labor and its fields annually bring rich harvests. Mr. Torkel- 
son engages in general farming and also gives considerable attention to stock- 
raising, deriving a substantial income from both lines of endeavor. 

In his religious affiliation Mr. Torkelson is a member of the United Lutheran 
church and politically he is a republican. He has always taken a deep interest 
in the progress and welfare of the county, particularly his township, and he is 
serving now as assessor, having been elected for six terms to this office, his long 
record standing as evidence of his faithfulness and ability. For three years he 
was also township clerk and for two years school director of his district, giving 
thereby evidence of his laudable interest in the cause of education. One of the 
younger generation, he is progressive and up-to-date in his views and is on all 
sides accorded respect and esteem for what he has achieved and for those finali- 
ties of his character which have made possible his success. 



ALBERT ELLINGSON. 



Albert Ellingson, carrying on general farming and stock-raising upon a fine 
tract of one hundred and eight acres on section 20, Pleasant township, was born 
in the section where he now resides on the 10th of December, 1870. He is a son 
of O. W. and Rachel (Severson) Ellingson, natives of Norway, who crossed the 
Atlantic in earlv life and settled first in Madison, Wisconsin. From that city 
they came to Iowa and the father engaged in general farming in Pleasant township, 
Winneshiek county, for many years, finally retiring and taking up his residence 
in Decorah, where he passed away in 1905, when he was sixty-two years of age. 
He was well known in local public affairs, holding many important positions on 
the republican ticket, including that of county supervisor and township clerk 
and assessor. He was a devout member of the Lutheran church and guided his 
upright and honorable life by its principles. He and his wife became the parents 
of eleven children : Julia, who married Ole P. Lein, of Pleasant township ; Elling, 
of Canoe township ; Sever ; Henry, of Pleasant township ; Ole, who resides in 
Decorah ; Albert, of this review ; Martin, a farmer in Canoe township ; Julius, 
engaged in agricultural pursuits in Pleasant township ; Helen, the wife of George 
Barth, of Pleasant township ; Marvin ; and Clarence Theodore. 

Albert Ellingson was reared upon his father's farm in Pleasant township and 
from his childhood assisted with the work of its operation, becoming in this way 
thoroughly familiar with the best agricultural methods. After his marriage he 
began farming for himself, buying one hundred and eight acres on section 20, 
Pleasant township, and upon this property he has since continued to reside. He 



278 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

has made substantial improvements upon it, erecting the necessary buildings and 
installing modern, labor-saving machinery, and has given careful attention to every 
detail of farm operation, his excellent property being a striking evidence of his 
care and practical labors throughout the years. 

In June. 1892, Mr. Ellingson was united in marriage to Miss Rosa Wise, who 
was born in Pleasant township, April 15, 1870. a daughter of Samuel Wise, ol 
whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Ellingson 
have become the parents of four children, three of whom died in infancy, while 
Arthur, the only one living, assists his father in the work of the home farm. 

Mr. Ellingson gives his political allegiance to the republican party and for 
the past three years has been serving in an able and creditable manner as township 
trustee. Most of his attention, however, is given to the conduct of his farm, 
which under his able management has become one of the finest agricultural 
properties in his native township. 



FRANK GILBERT MALTBY. 

Frank Gilbert Maltby is the owner of a valuable farm of one hundred and 
twenty acres on section 17. Hesper township, and is numbered among the repre- 
sentative agriculturists and the prominent and progressive native sons of Win- 
neshiek county. He was born in Canoe township. February 16, 1870, and is a 
son of Corydon and Mary (Gilbert) Maltby, the former born in New York, 
May 15, 1838, and the latter in Pennsylvania in 1840. The father removed to 
Take county, Illinois, with his parents and there grew to manhood, enlisting in 
1862 in Companv F, Twenty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for service in 
the Civil war. He participated in many of the important engagements of that 
conflict and was mustered out with honorable discharge at the close of hostilities. 
Before his enlistment he had married and after the war came with his young 
wife to Allamakee county. Iowa, but later removed to Winneshiek county, where 
she passed away in August, 1907. The father became a large landowner, holding 
at one time three hundred and twenty acres, and was ranked among the sub- 
stantial and progressive agriculturists. He is now living retired and makes his 
home with his children. For many years he was prominent in local republican 
circles, holding various township offices and serving for two terms as a member 
of the board of supervisors. He belongs to the Grand Army post at Decorah and 
in this way keeps in touch with his comrades of fifty years ago. He and his 
wife had two children: Frank Gilbert, of this review; and Fannie Ruth, who 
married Milton I). Whitney, of Hesper township. 

Frank Gilbert Maltby was reared at home and from an early age has been 
familiar with the details of farm operation, learning by practical experience upon 
his father's property. His entire active life has been given over to agricultural 
pursuits and he is now ranked among the representative farmers of Winneshiek 
county, owning and operating one hundred and twenty acres of valuable land on. 
section 17. Hesper township. His methods being always practical have been 
productive of excellent results, and his property is today well managed and 
profitable, yielding increasingly abundant harvests every year. 




CORYDON 0. MALTBY 




ME. AND MRS. FRANK G. MALTBY 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 283 

On the 4th of October, 1893, Mr - Maltby was united in marriage to Miss 
Adella Bennett, who was born in Wisconsin, March 12, 1872, and is a daughter 
of L. W. Bennett, of Canton, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Maltby are the parents 
of a daughter, Ruth Ella. Mr. Maltby 's principal interests are centered in his 
family and upon his farm, and throughout Winneshiek county he is known 
and respected as a substantial agriculturist and a desirable and useful citizen. 



W. A. VAN VLIET. 



W. A. Van Vliet, for the past twenty years a well known breeder of shorthorn 
cattle in Winneshiek county, is the owner of the Cedar Lawn Stock Farm, on 
section 32, Hesper township, and ranks with the progressive and substantial 
agriculturists of this vicinity. He was born in Quebec, Canada, July 12, 1870, 
and is a representative of a very old American family. He has in his possession 
a record of the Van Vliets in America, showing that representatives of the line 
came from Holland in 1635 and settled in Dutchess county. New York, whence 
they moved to the Canadian frontier in 1800. The great-grandfather of the 
subject of this review. Jan Van Yliet. settled in Quebec, near the New York- 
state line, acquiring a farm which was occupied by members of the Van Vliet 
family from 1800 to 191 1, when it was sold. The grandfather of the subject 
of this review, William Van Vliet, was born upon this property and his son, 
William R., was born in the locality. He was the father of the subject of this 
review and in 1876 came with his wife and family to Hesper township, Winne- 
shiek county, Iowa, where he became an extensive landowner, acquiring two 
hundred acres, one hundred and sixty in the home place on section t,2, and forty 
on section 5, Canoe township. This property he continued to develop until 
1902. when he moved to Montana, where his death occurred in June, 191 1, at 
the advanced age of seventy-seven. His wife, who was in her maidenhood 
Miss Mary A. Scriver, was born in Odelltown, Quebec, October 20, 1839. and 
survives her husband, making her home in Stevensville, Montana. In this 
family were five children: E. H., of Stevensville, Montana; Ida May, who resides 
with her mother and who has been blind since fourteen years of age ; Alexander, 
who also resides in Stevensville, Montana ; W. A., of this review : and Fred, of 
Spokane, Washington. 

W. A. Van Vliet was reared upon his father's farm and by assisting in the 
work of its operation early became familiar with the best and most practical 
agricultural methods. He is now the owner of the homestead which is known 
as the Cedar Lawn Stock Farm and for the past twenty years has specialized in 
the breeding and raising of high-grade shorthorn cattle. He has been very- 
successful and his animals have taken many prizes at the different fairs where they 
have been exhibited. Mr. Vaii Yliet's business interests are all carefully and 
conservatively conducted and have brought him a gratifying measure of success, 
placing him today among the progressive agriculturists and prosperous stockmen 
of this vicinity. 

In 1902 Mr. Van Yliet was united in marriage to Miss Minnie E. Wohlford, 
who was born in Winneshiek county, December 28, 1876, a daughter of Cyrus 

vol n— 1 3 



284 I 'AST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

and Ellen (Ileadington ) Wohlford, the former of whom went from Illinois to 
Ohio and later to Iowa. He died in Decorah, this state, at the age of forty-rive, 
and his wife now makes her home in that city. .Mr. and Mrs. Van Vliet have 
become the parents of a son, Harry Maxwell. Mr. Van Vliet is a member of 
the Yeomen and acts as secretary of the Farmers Institute. He is a republican 
in his political beliefs and is serving at the present time as justice of the peace, 
discharging his duties in a capable and conscientious way. During the many 
years of his residence in Winneshiek county he has proven himself a capable 
business man and a progressive agriculturist and he has gained widespread respect 
and esteem as a desirable and useful citizen. 



CARL 1. POSIirSTA. 



Among the very youngest members of commercial life in Calmar is Carl J. 
Poshusta, who although but twenty years of age successfully holds the 
important position of bookkeeper in the Calmar Savings Bank, having already 
made a decided step in the right direction towards the goal of success. A member 
of a pioneer family, he was born in Spillville. this county. July [8, 1893, a son of 
Leo C. and Matilda ( Mockels) Poshusta, natives of Winneshiek county. The 
father was also born at Spillville. May 16, 1868, and is a son of Charles and 
Barbara (Cekl) Poshusta, natives of Bohemia. The grandfather came to America 
and in an early day in the history of Winneshiek county located near Spillville, 
where he purchased land which he cleared and improved, gradually transforming 
his holdings into a valuable farm, lie devoted his life's labors to its cultivation 
and there passed away on January 1, 1881, his wife surviving until March. 1884. 
The father was reared and educated in this county, attending the district schools 
near the home farm and there remaining until his father's death in 1881. He 
was then but thirteen years of age, but at once started out to make his own living. 
He learned the cabinet-maker's and carpenter's trades in Spillville and subse- 
quently followed these occupations for about two decades. In 1899 he came 
to Calmar and, erecting a store building, engaged in the furniture business, with 
which he is still connected. In 1910 he added a new department by opening a 
stock of small goods and notions in an adjoining building. He is the owner of 
the only furniture and notion stores in Calmar and carries large and complete 
lines in both establishments. As the years have passed he has built up a gratify- 
ing patronage, resulting in a substantial income to him. Mr. and Mrs. Leo C. 
Poshusta were married October 6, i8()_\ and to them were born six children: 
Carl J., of this review ; George, who died in 1899 at the age of four years ; Martha, 
aged fifteen; Clara, aged thirteen; DeSales, aged eight; and Joseph, aged four. 
The father is a democrat in politics and fraternally a Knight of Columbus. 

Carl I. Poshusta was reared and educated in Calmar, attending the public 
and parochial schools in the acquirement of his education. He rounded out his 
learning by a course in St. Joseph's College at Dubuque and then, laying aside 
his text-books, accepted employment in a grocery store in Calmar, becoming a 
short time later connected with the Calmar Savings Bank in the capacity of 
bookkeeper. Giving diligent and faithful service to his employers, he has readily 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 285 

gained their confidence and is generally considered a coming young man, standing 
upon the threshold of a successful career. His religious faith is that of the 
Catholic church and he is in that connection fraternally associated with the 
Knights of Columbus, of which lodge he is a member. He makes his home with 
his parents. Mr. Poshusta is popular with the young men of Calmar, in which 
city he has many friends who all esteem him highly for his open-heartedness, 
his frankness and his genial pleasant manner. If present indications do not deceive, 
a successful career may be prophesied for him — a career which will carry his 
name to prominence in Winneshiek county. 



WILLIAM HENRY EMMONS, M. D. 

The name of Dr. William Henry Emmons has come to be regarded as 
synonymous with business development and progress in Winneshiek county, 
for he is not only a successful and able physician but he is also president of the 
I'.urr Oak Savings Bank, president of the Burr Oak Mercantile Company and 
manager of the Silver Creek Creamery Company of Burr Oak. He thus figures 
prominently in business circles and throughout his entire life has directed his 
efforts where mature judgment and sound discrimination have led the way. 

Dr. Emmons was born in Oneonta, New York, December 26, 1868, and is 
a son of Theodore P. and Mary (Martin) Emmons, the former a native of New 
York, the latter of Bangor, Maine. Their marriage, however, occurred in Waverly. 
Iowa, and from there they removed to New York, where they resided for a num- 
ber of years. Later they returned to Waverly and from there went to Sumner, 
Iowa, where the father's death occurred in July, 1909, when he was sixty-nine 
years of age. He and his wife became the parents of two children : Lillian, the 
wife of L. S. Cast, of Waterloo, Iowa; and Dr. William Henry, of this review. 

Dr. William Henry Emmons was five years of age when his parents removed 
to Iowa, and he acquired his early education in the public schools of Waverly 
and Sumner. He afterward attended the Upper Iowa University at Fayette 
for three years and then studied medicine for one year at Waverly. Having 
determined upon the practice of this profession, he went to Chicago and entered 
Rush Medical College, spending his winters in that institution and his summers 
in the Northwestern freight depot, where he had obtained employment. He 
was graduated with the degree of M. D. March 29, 1892. In the same year he 
settled at Westgate, Iowa, and after eight months -removed to Elma, where he 
took charge of the practice of another physician. He came to Burr Oak September 
20, 1893, and here he has since remained in active practice. He did not regard 
his professional education completed when he finished his course in medical 
college, but has always remained a student of the principles of medical science 
and has kept in close touch with the most advanced professional thought. He 
is very careful in the diagnosis of cases and his ability is demonstrated in a 
large and representative practice. 

Aside from his professional interests Dr. Emmons has figured prominently 
in business circles of this vicinity and has now important connections along this 
line. Since 191 1 he has been president of the Burr Oak Savings Bank, and in 



286 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

October of that year formed a partnership with P. II. Whitney in the organiza- 
tion of the Burr Oak Mercantile Company, in which lie is still heavily interested. 
He is also manager of the Silver Creek Creamery Company of Burr Oak and has 
many other business identifications. To the conduct of bis interests he brings 
keen insight and sound judgment and discrimination. He has therefore gained 
a success which places him among the men of marked ability and substantial 
worth in this community. 

In 1894 Dr. Emmons was united in marriage to .Miss Donna Savles. a native 
of Fayette county. Iowa, and they have become the parents of three children: 
l.ucile; Paul Starr, who passed away at the age of nine months; and Theodore 
Hartwell. 

Dr. Emmons was for twelve years president of the board of pension examiners 
at Decorah. and after a period of earnest and conscientious work in that capacity 
resigned in 1913. lie is a republican in his political beliefs and connected fra- 
ternally with the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern 
Woodmen of America, the Yeomen and the Rebekahs. Along professional lines 
he belongs to the Winneshiek County and the Iowa State Medical Societies and 
the American Medical Association, thus keeping in touch with the trend of 
modern medical thought. I lis unbending integrity of character, his fearlessness 
in the discharge of duty in every relation in which he lias been found, and his 
appreciation of the responsibilities which rest upon him make him a citizen 
whose worth is widely acknowledged. 



CHRIS E. JOHNS! >.\. 



Chris E. Johnson, who owns and operates one hundred acres of line land on 
section 15, Madison township, was born in Wisconsin, October [6, 1858, and is 
a son of Eric and Isabelle Johnson, natives of Norway. The parents came to 
America and located in Wisconsin in 1840 and there the father bought land 
which he operated until 1868, when he came to Winneshiek county. Iowa. He 
here bought two hundred acres on section 15. Madison township, and improved 
and developed this tine property until bis death, which occurred, however, in 
1870, two years after his arrival. 

Chris E. Johnson was educated in the district schools of Wisconsin and in 
Winneshiek county, whither he came when he was ten years of age. He remained 
with his mother until he had attained his majority and from childhood was 
thoroughly familiar with the details of farm operation, having learned them by 
practical experience upon the homestead. At the age of twenty-one he purchased 
one hundred acres from his mother and this he has developed and improved 
since that time, his farm being today one of the finest in his locality. Mr. Johnson 
has followed the most progressive and practical methods in its operation and 
his labors have been productive of excellent results, winning for him a place 
among the township's representative and substantial agriculturists. 

On the 30th of October, 1888, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss 
Christe Void, a daughter of ( lie ami Anne Void, natives of Norway, who came 
to America in 1853 and located in Winneshiek countv, Iowa, where the father 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 287 

engaged in fanning during the remainder of his life, dying in 1878. His wife 
had passed away in 1873. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson became the parents of six 
children: Edward, who died in 1890; Tilda, who passed away in 1896; Anton, 
whose death occurred in November, [91.1 ; Oscar, aged nineteen; Clarence, aged 
sixteen : and Ernest, aged twelve. 

Mr. Johnson is a member of the Lutheran church and he gives his political 
allegiance to the republican party. He is a stockholder in the Norwegian Mutual 
Insurance Company and the Farmers Hog Buying Company of Decorah and in 
that city is recognized as a farsighted, able and discriminating business man as 
lie is known throughout the township as an enterprising and progressive farmer. 



FRANK SVESTKA. 



Frank Svestka, well known throughout Jackson township as a progressive 
and prosperous farmer, and closely identified with mercantile interests of Jack- 
son Junction as the proprietor of a fine general store, is a native of Bohemia, born 
November 24, 1865. His parents, Jacob and Mary (Kalishek) Svestka were also 
born in that country and came to America in 1869, locating immediately in Win- 
neshiek county, Iowa, where they resided for seven years. At the end of that 
time they removed into Howard county. Iowa, where they now make their home, 
the father having retired from active life. To their union were born twelve 
children, two of whom have passed away. The others are : Frank, of this review ; 
Emma, who became the wife of Mr. Valvoda of Howard county ; Louis and Joseph, 
also of Howard county; Annie, who married II. Lukes of Winneshiek county; 
James, who makes his home in North Dakota; Carrie, the wife of Joseph Maro- 
vetz of Howard county; Louisa, who married Frank Pecinovsky, also of Howard 
county; John, who is operating the family homestead in that county; and Rosie, 
the wife of Joseph Andera of North Dakota. 

Frank Svestka was only four years of age when he was brought to America 
by his parents and upon his father's farm in Winneshiek county he spent his 
early childhood, later moving with the family to Howard county. He acquired 
a district-school education and early became familiar with all the details of farm 
operation, gaining much practical experience along this line by assisting his 
father in the fields. When he began his independent career at the age of twenty- 
five he naturally turned his attention to the occupation in which he has been 
reared, buying land in Winneshiek county near Jackson Junction. To this he 
added from time to time, finally owning two hundred and forty acres on which 
he carried on general farming and stock-raising, success steadily attending his 
well directed industry. Of late years he has disposed of the great portion of 
this property, holding eighty acres which by able management and practical 
methods he has made one of the finest agricultural properties in the locality. Mr. 
Svestka does not live upon his farm, but has moved into the village of Jackson 
1 unction where he is conducting an excellent general store. He has there built 
up an extensive and representative patronage and this is accorded him in recog- 
nition of his fine stock of goods, his upright and honorable business dealings and 
his earnest desire to please his patrons. In addition to this he was connected 



288 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

with the operation of a large lumber business there, an enterprise which he 
founded in 1892 and which has had a prosperous existence since that time. 

Mr. Svestka married Miss Mary Lukes and to their union have been born 
live children : Emma, the wife of Charles Balik of Mason City. Iowa ; William 
also of Mason City; Ida, the wife of Joseph Wandas of Fort Atkinson; and 
Annie and Mary, both of whom live at home. The family are devout members 
of the Roman Catholic church. Mr. Svestka is connected fraternally with the 
Bohemian Workmen and the Order of Foresters and gives his political allegiance 
to the democratic party, taking an intelligent interest in community affairs. He 
is however, not active politically preferring to concentrate his attention upon his 
business interests, which, being capably conducted, are bringing him a gratifving 
measure of success. 



THEODORF A. SCHEIDEMANTEL. 

Theodore A. Scheidemantel. who is one of the extensive landowners and 
prosperous farmers and stock-raisers of Winneshiek county and also controls 
important landed and financial interests in various parts of Oklahoma, was born 
on the old Scheidemantel homestead in Military township on the 20th of October. 
1856. He is a representative of one of the oldest and most prominent pioneer 
families in this section of the state, being a son of Henry and Kunigunda Scheide- 
mantel, of whom extended mention is made on another page in this work. The 
parents were natives of Bavaria. Germany, the father born on the 20th of October, 
1820, and the mother on the 16th of June, 1832. In their family were eleven 
children: Eva ]., whose birth occurred on the 1 8th of June, 1853; William, born 
January 7, 1855; Theodore A., of this review; Mary E., born October 9, 1858, 
Clemence, born on the "th of December, i860; Andrew H., born October 29, 1862 ; 
Caroline C, January 9, 1865; Henry J., January' 25. 1867; Edward J.. November 
9. 1868; Joseph F., May 1, 1871 ; and Emilie M., born July 19, 1873. 

Theodore A. Scheidemantel was reared upon the family homestead and through- 
out the period of his boyhood and youth assisted with the work of its cultivation, 
gaining in this way knowledge and experience in the details of farm operation 
which has proven invaluable to him in after life. In 1880 he left home and went 
to St. Paul, Minnesota, and thence to Minneapolis, where he became connected 
with the mercantile business as clerk with Engram & Company, wholesale dealers 
in dry goods. After remaining in this connection for about a year he went to 
Grafton, North Dakota, and there for two years engaged in the butcher business, 
building up a large and profitable trade before he disposed of his enterprise. 
When he did so, he turned his attention to the development of a fine farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres which he had taken up in Pembina county. North Dakota, 
a property which he afterward sold. Upon the death of his father he returned 
to Winneshiek county and when the estate was divided inherited two hundred 
and forty acres, known as the old McKinzie Hall farm. To this he has since 
added forty acres, making this a property of two hundred and eighty acres, prac- 
tically all of which is under a high state of cultivation. Mr. Scheidemantel has 
also bought the old Carl Brouch place, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres on 




THEnnoRK A. SCHKIDK.MAXTEL 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 291 

sections 13 and 14, Military township, and he gives a great deal of time and atten- 
tion to the further development and improvement of these two farms, which are 
among the finest agricultural properties in the state. He engages in general farm- 
ing and stock-raising and, being a reliable, farsighted and discriminating business 
man, has made both branches of his activities important and profitable. In addi- 
tion to his extensive holdings in this county, he also has important landed and 
business interests in Oklahoma, having become interested in the development of 
that state in 1900, when he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in Washita 
county at the time when the Choctow, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad was constructed 
through that part of the state. He has gradually extended the scope of his inter- 
ests, having been carried forward by his initiative spirit, his keen sense of business 
opportunity, his excellent administrative and organizing ability into important 
relations with financial affairs. In 1902 he organized in Canute, the Canute State 
Bank, of which he is now president and in which he owns a controlling interest, 
and he w r as also the leader in the founding of the German State Bank of Elk City, 
Oklahoma, an institution organized during the panic of 1907 with a capital stock 
of fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Scheidemantel is not now connected with that enter- 
prise, having sold his stock in 1909. He assisted his brother Henry in organizing 
the Silver Springs Creamery Company and although they met with great opposi- 
tion at the time, it was carried to a successful issue and our subject remained as 
general manager until success was assured. 

Mr. Scheidemantel is a member of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally 
is connected with the Knights of Columbus and other organizations affiliated with 
his church. He is a democrat in his political views and a stanch supporter of the 
party's principles, although he never seeks public office for himself. A man of 
broad views, modern ideas and progressive spirit, he has left and is still leaving the 
impress of his work and personality upon the agricultural development of Win- 
neshiek county and upon the financial history of that section of Oklahoma in 
which he is active, and he is in all respects a man of action and initiative — valuable 
as a factor in the promotion of the growth and advancement of the community in 
which he has spent his entire life. 



CHRISTIAN RILLING. 



Christian Rilling is living retired on his farm near Fort Atkinson in Wash- 
ington township after many years devoted to the stone-mason's trade in Winne- 
shiek county and a long period of identification with agricultural interests in 
this section of the state. His residence here dates from 1868, but he was born in 
Germany, on the 27th of April, 1848, a son of Adam and Mary fUhlmer) Rilling, 
who lived and died in the fatherland. To their union were born four children : 
Barbara and Adam, who live in Germany ; Lizzie, the widow of Henry Mohler, 
of Winneshiek county; and Christian, of this review. 

Christian Rilling acquired his education in the public schools of his native 
country and there remained until he was eighteen years of age. He then crossed 
the Atlantic to America, locating first in New York and then in Philadelphia, 
whence after three years he came to Winneshiek county in 1868. He bought one 



292 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

hundred and eighty acres near Festina and he resided upon this property for 
over twenty years, purchasing at the end of that time two hundred acres on sec- 
tions 4 and 9, Washington township, upon which he has ever since resided. 
During all of this time he followed the stone-mason's trade throughout the county, 
leaving the work of the farm to his assistants, and he became recognized as an 
expert in his special line of work, his labors being finally rewarded by a com- 
fortable competence. 

Mr. Rilling was married in 1875 to Miss Mary Jones, a daughter of Fritz 
and Margaret (Billen) Jones, natives of Germany, who came from that country 
to Wisconsin and after five years to Iowa. Both have passed away. To their 
union were born four children: Peter and Nicholas, of Oklahoma; Marv, the wife 
of the subject of this review; and Philip. The father had been previously married 
and by his first union had two children: Katie, the widow of Edward Caiman, 
of Festina; and a son who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Rilling became the 
parents of nine children: Sophia, the widow of John Zimmer, of Calmar ; Philip, 
who lives at home ; John and Christ, also at home ; Fred, who resides at Old 
Mission, Iowa; Alfred, of Fort Atkinson; and Nick, Joseph and Annie, at home. 

Mr. Rilling is a member of the Roman Catholic church and is a stanch sup- 
porter of the democratic party. The success which attended his labors during 
his active years has been well deserved and has gained him recognition among the 
prosperous, enterprising and representative citizens of the community where he 
is spending his retired life. 



J< >SEPH A. JUEN, M. D. 

Dr. Joseph A. Juen, who since 1904 has been successfully engaged in the 
general practice of medicine and surgery in Ossian, is a native of Dubuque, Iowa, 
born June 30, 1 87 5 . His parents, Raphael and Catherine (Walter) Juen, were 
born in Tyrol, Austria, and came to America about the year 1871, locating in 
Dubuque, Iowa, where the father followed his trade of cabinet-making until his 
death, which occurred about 1902. His wife survives him and makes her home 
in Dubuque. They were the parents of two children: Mary, who lias passed 
away ; and Joseph A., of this review. 

The last named acquired his early education in the Dubuque public schools, 
later attending St. Joseph's College. Having determined to make the practice 
of medicine his life work, he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 
St. Louis and from this institution was graduated with the degree of M. D. in 
1904. He settled immediately in Ossian and he has since continued to practice 
there, having secured a large and representative clientage, which continually 
increases as his ability, knowledge and medical skill become more widely known. 

Dr. Juen married Miss Lilla Isabel Flesch, a native of Wisconsin, and they 
have become the parents of three children: Ralph, who has passed away; one 
son who died in infancy; and Gladys, born April 1 1, 1910. Dr. Juen is a member 
of the Catholic church and politically is identified with the republican partv. 
Along professional lines he belongs to the American Medical Association, the 
Iowa State and the Winneshiek County Medical Societies and through his mem- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 293 

bership in these organizations keeps in touch with the most advanced medical 
thought. He has made an excellent professional record and the work he has 
accomplished has gained him the respect and regard of his brethren of the medical 
fraternity and the confidence and esteem of the local public. 



GULBRAND H. NESS. 



Norway has furnished a considerable proportion of citizens to Winneshiek 
county and the diligence and energy characteristic of the people of that land have 
become important factors in the development and improvement of this section 
of the state. A representative of this class is Gulbrand H. Ness, now a well 
known and worthy farmer of Glenwood township, living on section 23. He is 
also numbered among the veterans of the Civil war. His birth occurred in Nor- 
way, October 25, 1840, his parents being Hans Johanas and Anna Gilbranson, 
who spent their entire lives in Norway where the father followed farming. 
Their family numbered four children: Johan. who was born October 1, 1838, 
was for thirty years in the employ of the Ekebergh firm, the wealthiest people of 
Norway, .well known all over Europe. He has been retired by them on a pension 
and makes his home in Christiania, Norway. He is a well educated man, Gul- 
brand H. Ness having given him part of the money necessary to secure his educa- 
tion. The subject of this review is the second member of the family. The 
daughter Carrie became the wife of E. Kelson and she died in this county while 
her husband passed away in Norman county Minnesota. She was brought to 
America by her brother Gulbrand, as was the youngest of the family, Hanson 
Ness, who came to the United States in 1868 and died in 1870. 

Gulbrand H. Ness was reared upon the home farm in Norway and in 1861 
crossed the Atlantic to the United States, arriving in Winneshiek county on 
the 17th of May. Here he was employed as a farm hand by the month at a 
salary of eleven dollars per month, and on leaving his first employer he entered 
the service of another farmer with whom he continued for five months. On 
the 15th of October, of the same year, he went to Decorah to purchase clothes. 
He did not carry out his intention, however, but instead enlisted in the Union 
army, offering his services through an interpreter. This was on the 15th of 
October, 1861, and he joined Company G, of the Twelfth Iowa Infantry, under 
Captain C. C. Tupper. He served for the full term of three years and then 
enlisted in 1864 in the same company and regiment, with which he remained 
until February 17, 1866, when he was honorably discharged at Memphis, Ten- 
nessee. The entire company was captured at Shiloh save Mr. Ness, who at 
that time was in the hospital with typhoid fever, which incapacitated him for 
duty for three months. His command was imprisoned for six months, during 
which time five regiments of those who had been released from the hospital were 
consolidated into the Union Brigade which name they bore until the others of the 
original command were released from prison. Mr. Ness participated in many 
hotly contested battles and made a splendid record as a brave and loyal soldier. 

With the close of the war he returned home and began farming in Frankville 
township where he remained until 1900, in which year he removed to his present 



294 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

farm on section 23, Glenwood township. He owns ninety-nine acres of rich 
and valuable land to which he has added many substantial improvements, supply- 
ing the place with all of the equipment and accessories of a model farm of the 
twentieth century. 

Mr. Ness has been twice married. In 1869 he wedded Annie E. Bakke, a 
native of Norway, who died in this county. She had eight children: Mina, the 
wife of John Moe, of Ossian, Iowa: Erik, living in Frankville township; Henry, 
of Decorah ; Gustave, who died at the age of thirty-seven years; John, who died 
when twenty-four years of age; Melvin, living in Mason City; and two who died 
in infancy. In 1900 Mr. Ness married Mrs. Martha Lavstrien, who was born in 
Norway in 1858 and came to the United States with her first husband. She was 
a widow and had four children when she became the wife of Mr. Ness. The 
children are: Helena Marie Anderson, of Canada; Anna Anderson, deceased; 
and Helga and Agnes, at home. 

Mr. Ness is a member of the First Lutheran church and honorable principles 
guide him in all the relations of life. His political allegiance is given to the 
republican party and he has held some township offices, the duties of which he 
promptly and faithfully discharged. He belongs to the Grand Army of the 
Republic and thus maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades. He 
has ever been as true and loval in matters of citizenship through days of peace 
as he was in times of war when he defended the old flag upon the battlefields 
of the south. 



EVEN TIENDERHOLDT LARSON. 

For over fifty years Even Tienderholdt Larson has carried on general farming 
and stock-raising upon his fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres near Ossian 
and each year has witnessed an increase in the success which has rewarded his 
industry, perseverance and w-ell directed labors. He is now in control of an 
excellent property and is one of the best known and most popular farmers of 
Military township, his half century of upright living and fair dealing having 
gained for him the confidence and respect of all who are in any way associated 
with him. 

He was born in Norway on the 17th of January, 1833, and is a son of Lars 
and Christine Maria (Bamble) Nelson, also natives of that country. The 
parents came to America in 1844 and located first in Wisconsin, where they 
remained for several years, finally removing from that state to Winneshiek 
county, Iowa. The father was a farmer by occupation and engaged in agricul- 
tural pursuits and stock-raising in this locality until his death, becoming one of 
the prosperous farmers and representative citizens. He died in 1893 and his 
wife passed away in 1885. To them were born seven children: Nels, deceased; 
Hans, who has also passed away ; Peter, who resides in Winneshiek county ; 
Rosina, deceased; Even T., of this review; Soren, also of Winneshiek county; 
and Maria, the widow of Martin Myhre. 

Even Tienderholdt Larson was eleven years of age when he accompanied his 
parents on their removal to America and a great deal of his childhood was spent 



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PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 297 

upon his father's farm, where he assisted with the work of cultivation, becoming 
a practical and able agriculturist. In 1855 he purchased one hundred and twenty 
acres in Military township, Winneshiek county, and to this he has since added 
forty acres, being today in possession of a fine property of one hundred and 
sixty acres. Upon this he has resided since 1862 and has engaged continuously 
in general farming and stock-raising, success steadily attending his well directed 
efforts. He has made substantial improvements upon his farm in the course 
of years and it is now splendidly equipped with buildings and machinery, noth- 
ing being neglected which will add to its attractive appearance or its value. Its 
excellent condition at the present time is a striking evidence of the many years 
of care and labor which have been bestowed upon it by the owner, who is not 
only a progressive and practical farmer but a resourceful, farsighted and dis- 
criminating business man as well. 

Mr. Larson married Miss Barbara Nordhous. a daughter of Andrew and 
Anna ( Anderson ) Nordhous, natives of Norway, who came to America about 
the year 1875 an d located in Fayette county, Iowa. To them were born nine 
children; Ole and Carrie, deceased; Ellen, who has also passed away; Barbara, 
twin to Ellen, and wife of the subject of this review; Andrew, who resides in 
Claremont, Iowa; Anna, the wife of H. Gottleman of North Dakota; Gundwar, 
who married Harry Lee of Denver, Colorado ; Ivan of Steele, North Dakota ; 
and Halvarina, the wife of Lars Polsen of Claremont, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. 
Larson have become the parents of three children ; Anna Louisa, the wife of Hans 
Teigen of Lake Mills, Iowa ; Fridtjof Cornelius, who lives at home ; and Cora 
Agnetta, who died November 29, 1910. 

Mr. Larson is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church, and politically 
gives his allegiance to the republican party. Although he neither seeks nor 
desires public office he is interested in the cause of education and has done 
much constructive and beneficial work in promoting it during his term of service 
on the school board. He is a progressive, able and upright citizen, and the high 
place which he now holds in the respect and esteem of his neighbors has been 
worthily won by many years of honorable and straightforward dealing. 



CALVIN D. HORTON, M. D. 

Dr. Calvin D. Horton, who since 1893 has been successfully engaged in the 
general practice of medicine and surgery in Fort Atkinson, was born in Fillmore 
county, Minnesota, on the 5th of May, 1865. He is a son of Joshua and Laura 
(Piatt) Horton, natives of New York, both of whom have passed away, the 
father dying at the advanced age of ninety-three, after having spent his entire 
active life engaged in farming. To their union were born nine children : George, 
Samuel and Houston, who have passed away ; Olivette, of North Dakota ; Thomas, 
also of North Dakota ; Hattie, the widow of Dr. Walter Murphy, of Quebec, 
Canada; Delmer, who resides in Lime Spring, Iowa; Elizabeth, who married Dr. 
J. H. Dasey, of Sioux City ; and Calvin D., of this review. 

The last named was reared in Fillmore county and there acquired his prelimin- 
ary education. At the age of seventeen he left home and acquired his high-school 



298 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

course at La Crosse, Wisconsin, later teaching in the public schools of Minnesota 
for five years, after which he entered the medical department of the State Uni- 
versity, beginning the practice of his profession one year before receiving his 
diploma in order to earn the money necessary to carry on his studies. He 
received his degree of M. D. in 1894 and since 1893 has been in active practice 
in Fort Atkinson, each year of the intervening twenty bringing him increased 
success in his chosen calling. Always a close and indefatigable student of his 
profession, he has kept in touch with its most advanced thought through read- 
ing and research and in 1907 took a post-graduate course in diseases of the 
eye, ear. nose and throat under Dr. Brown of Chicago, having since done a 
great deal of successful work along this line. I lis patronage has increased 
rapidly as his ability and skill have become more widely known and it has 
reached extensive proportions at the present time. Dr. Horton being numbered 
today among the most able and successful physicians in the county where he 
makes his home. 

On the 25th of December. 1887, Dr. Horton was united in marriage to Miss 
Grace Gallup, and to their union have been born three children: Donald Lvle. 
aged eighteen; Joyce, aged fourteen; and Glee. nine. Dr. Horton gives his politi- 
cal allegiance to the republican party, and, although he is not active as an office 
seeker, he takes a commendable interest in community affairs. He is a member 
of the Methodist church and. being a man of sterling character, has always merited 
and received the confidence and respect of all with whom professional or social 
relations have brought him in contact. 



LOUIS T. HUBER. 



Louis T. Iluber has resided within the borders of Winneshiek county since- 
pioneer times and has always been identified with farming in this part of Iowa, 
making substantia! contributions to the agricultural development of the county. 
He is now living retired in Calmar, having earned rest and leisure by many vears 
of industry and well directed labor. He was born in < Hdenburg, Franklin county, 
Indiana, in December, 1848, a son of Francis J. and Mary A. (Gaertner) Huber, 
the former a native of Switzerland, and the latter of France. The father came 
to America in 1832 and the mother in 1833. They located in Indiana, where the 
father farmed for a number of years, later going to New ( Means, where for six- 
teen years he clerked in a general store. Returning to Indiana at the end of that 
time, he remained in the state until 1849 an d then sold his farm and came to Iowa. 
Upon arriving in Washington township, Winneshiek county, he purchased a tract 
of land which was formerly a part of the Indian reservation. Later he bought a 
whole section adjoining old Fort Atkinson and with characteristic energy carried 
forward the work of improvement and development, making it a valuable and 
well improved farm, upon which he resided until his death, which occurred 
Xovember 2J,, 1888. His wife survived him some years, dying in 1901. 

Louis T. Huber was not yet one year old when he was brought by his parents 
to Iowa and, reared in a frontier region, he experienced many of the hardships 
and privations of pioneer times. He attended district school and when not engaged 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 299 

with his books aided in the operation of the homestead, thus becoming a practical 
and able farmer before he had attained his majority. When he was twenty-six 
he purchased twenty acres from his father and later bought one hundred and 
twenty acres in Washington township. This he cleared and improved, buying 
more land from time to time until he had acquired extensive holdings. Portions 
of his land, however, he afterward sold, retaining two hundred and eighty-seven 
acres lying on sections 34 and 27, Washington township, upon which he carried 
on general agricultural pursuits for many years. Alert, energetic and enter- 
prising, he won a gratifying measure of success in the conduct of his interests 
and is now able to spend the evening of his life in honorable retirement. He 
operated his farm until 191 1 and then moved to Twin Springs, where he lived 
until April 16, 1913, when he purchased a comfortable home in Calmar, where 
he now resides. 

On the 12th of May, 1874, Mr. Huber was united in marriage to Miss Helen 
Hess, a daughter of Charles and Margaret (Becker) Hess, natives of Germany, 
who came to America in early times settling first in the state of New York 
and then as pioneers in Wisconsin. In 1855 they came to Winneshiek county and 
here the father operated a farm until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Huber have 
become the parents of twelve children: Francis S., who passed away September 
25, 1876; Charles T., who is engaged in farming in Springfield township; Philip 
Joseph, a bookkeeper in Lincoln, Nebraska; William H., who resides in Waterloo, 
Iowa; George A., who is cultivating his father's farm; Annie, a teacher in a 
Catholic school in Carroll county, Iowa; Hugo A., a resident of Calmar; Francis 
E., a banker in Fort Atkinson; Conrad F., who died on the 23d of August. 1889; 
Benjamin P., engaged in farming in Washington township; Anthony M., who 
is attending school ; and Adlinda L., who lives at home. 

Mr. Huber gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and has ren- 
dered his township excellent service as trustee, road supervisor and school 
director. He is a stockholder in the Festina Creamery Company and known -as 
a man of excellent business ability. Long a resident of this part of Iowa, he has 
become widely and favorably known in the community and his life has been 
such as to win and hold the regard and esteem of his fellowmen. 



WILLIAM A. DASKAM. 

William A. Daskam owns twenty acres of land on section 28, Fremont town- 
ship, adjoining the town of Kendallville, and upon this property is engaged in 
raising bees and chickens and is meeting with gratifying success. He is a repre- 
sentative of a well known pioneer family and a native son of this county, born 
in Fremont township, September 19, 1872, his parents being James S. and Henri- 
etta M. (Eddy) Daskam, the former a native of New York and the latter of 
Yermont. The father came to Winneshiek county in the '50s and purchased and 
improved an eighty acre farm in Orleans township, operating this until the out- 
break of the Civil war. He then enlisted in the Union army under Captain Weiser, 
of Decorah, serving until almost the close of hostilities. He participated in many 
important engagements and was twice wounded on the battlefield. After his 



300 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

return he engaged in the mercantile business in Kendallville, so continuing until 
his death. His wife survives him and makes her home in that city. 

William A. Daskam was reared in Fremont township, acquiring his early edu- 
cation in the district schools. He afterwards attended Breckenridge Institute in 
Decorah and then the State Normal School at Cedar Falls. For five years after 
leaving school he engaged in teaching in the country schools and then spent five 
years as principal of the schools in Fort Atkinson. At the end of that time he 
purchased twenty acres of land on section 28, Fremont township, and turned his 
attention to the raising of bees and chickens. He has met with most gratifying 
success, as is evidenced by the fact that while he began the year 191 2 with fifty- 
nine swarms of bees he has now one hundred and fifty and he cleared one thousand 
dollars from the sale of his honey. He specializes in raising brown leghorn chickens 
and this branch of his enterprise is also extremely profitable. 

On the 25th of December, 1901, Mr. Daskam married Miss Mabel B. Brown, 
a daughter of C. C. and Ida (McCloud) Brown, of whom further mention is 
made elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Daskam have two children : Marjorie 
H., aged seven ; and Glen Alson, aged live. Mrs. Daskam is a member of the 
Methodist church and he is connected fraternally with the Independent Order of 
( )dd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. He gives his political 
allegiance to the republican party and is at present clerk of Fremont township. 
He is progressive and public-spirited in matters of citizenship and reliable and 
trustworthy in business relations — a native son of whom Winneshiek county has 
every reason to be proud. 



JOHN RICHFRT. 



• John Richert, one of the prominent stockmen of Winneshiek county, is the 
owner of the Evergreen Stock Farm, a fine property of one hundred and sixty 
acres on section 21, Hesper township, and by his practical methods and untiring 
industry has surrounded himself with a gratifying measure of prosperity. He 
was born in Alsace-Lorraine, when that province was a French possession, 
January 8, 1865, and is a son of Nicholas and Mary ( Gitz ) Richert, also natives 
of that province. The family came to America in 18S1 . settling in the vicinity 
of Locust, Winneshiek county. Iowa, where the father engaged in farming for a 
number of years. He has now retired from active life and ne and his wife make 
their home in West Decorah. In their family were six children : John, of this 
review ; Nicholas and Jacob, both of whom reside in Hesper township ; George, 
a resident of Oklahoma; Mrs. Kate Bennett, also of that state; and Philip, who 
makes his home in Oregon. 

John Richert spent his childhood in Alsace-Lorraine and was sixteen years 
of age when he accompanied his parents to Iowa. For six years thereafter he 
worked as a farm laborer and for three years and three months of this time 
never lost a day's work. He saved enough money to rent land and after engag- 
ing in farming in this way for eleven years, purchased eighty acres on sections 
20 and 21, Hesper township. To this he has since added until the Evergreen 
Stock Farm comprises one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land. Mr. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 301 

Richert's attention centers upon his stock-raising interests and he has been 
remarkably successful in breeding Hereford cattle and Chester White and 
Poland China hogs. He has exhibited at almost all of the local fairs and in 
191 2 had several entries in the International Stock Show at Chicago. He belongs 
to the Hereford Cattle Association of the United States, in which he is also a 
stockholder, and in this way he keeps in touch with the latest and most scientific 
methods of breeding. 

On the 30th of November, 1889, Mr. Richer! was united in marriage to 
Miss Cora B. Smith, who was born in Hesper township, November 17, 1870, 
a daughter of Walter A. and Samantha (Hazel) Smith, the former a native 
of England and the latter, of Pennsylvania. Her father has passed away and 
his widow makes her home with the subject of this review. Mr. and Mrs. Richert 
are the parents of a son, Lloyd W., who lives at home. 

Mr. Richert is a devout member of the Lutheran church and is independent 
in politics, taking an especial interest in educational affairs. He has done able 
work as secretary of the school board for the past seven years and has held 
various other important school offices. For thirty-two years a resident of Winne- 
shiek county, he is recognized as a substantial and representative citizen by 
those with whom he has long been associated and one who from the beginning 
of his career has been deeply interested in the material, mental and moral wel- 
fare of the community. 



EINAR KIPPE. 



A young man of great ability and promise, Einar Kippe is prominently 
connected with business and financial interests of Burr Oak as half owner of a 
general store there and as cashier of the Burr Oak Savings Bank. He was 
born in Stenkjar, Norway, April 6, 1880, and is a son of John and Carrie Kippe, 
who still reside in that locality, the father engaging in school teaching. In 
their family are seven children, of whom the subject of this review is the 
fourth in order of birth. Two others came to America, namely : Olaf, who is 
engaged in the paint business in Amhurst, Minnesota; and Magne, a railroad 
contractor of Cordova, Alaska. 

Einar Kippe acquired his education in the public schools of Norway and 
after laying aside his books clerked in a general store for three years. Seeking 
a wider field and better opportunities, he crossed the Atlantic in the spring of 
1902 and settled in Mabel, Minnesota, where he worked as a painter with his 
brother. He afterward spent a similar period of time on railroad construction 
work and then turned his attention to farming, following this occupation until 
1906. In that year he came to Burr Oak and entered a general store owned by 
F. C. Schink. He afterward was employed by Mr. Schink's successor's, Juell. 
Meyer & Company, and in 1912 he formed a partnership with John A. Thompson. 
They purchased the store in which Mr. Kippe now owns a half interest and they 
have developed the business to gratifying proportions, serving a large and rep- 
resentative patronage at the present time. Mr. Kippe has been connected with 
the Burr Oak Savings Bank since 1912, in July of which year he was made 



302 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

cashier of the institution. He has since held this position and has discharged 
his responsible duties capably and conscientiously, proving himself a reliable, 
resourceful and farsighted financier. 

In 1902, in Norway, Mr. Kippe was united in marriage to Miss Lina Peter- 
son, who was born in Bodo, that country. June 29, 18S0. They have become the 
parents of a son, Arthur, who was born in Burr Oak, December 15, 191 1. 

Mr. Kippe is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and is connected 
fraternally with the Yeomen and the Modern Woodmen of America. Although 
still a young man he has already gained for himself a creditable position in the 
world of business and finance and he possesses in his ability and energy a 
guarantee of continued progress. 



THOMAS M. PIERCE. 



The business ability of Thomas M. Pierce has played an important part in 
the development of Calmar, Iowa, in which town he owns a first-class hotel 
conducted along modern and up-to-date lines. He was also instrumental in 
founding the Calmar Savings Bank and still serves as its vice president. More- 
over, he has important real-estate interests here as well as in Canada and South 
1 lakota. 

Mr. Pierce is a direct descendant of John Pierce, who came over in the May- 
flower, and he was born in Burlington, Pennsylvania, in April 1874, a son of 
Clarence and Morley Pierce, natives of that city. During his whole life the 
father was a commercial traveler, beginning his career in that capacity at the 
age of sixteen. His territory comprised the states of Iowa, Minnesota and Wis- 
consin, and he followed that occupation until his death, which occurred in April, 
1891. The mother still survives and makes her home in Pennsylvania. 

Until twelve years of age Thomas M. Pierce attended school in Burlington, 
Pennsylvania, and then made his home with an uncle, continuing his education 
until eighteen years of age, when he left his relative to come to Decorah, Iowa, 
where his brother was then located. In this city he found employment with Frank 
Adams, receiving his board and room for his work, but no pay for the first two 
weeks, but he finally succeeded in reaching an agreement with his employer which 
entitled him to eighteen dollars per month. He remained with Mr. Adams from 
[892 until July. 181)3, when he came to Calmar. becoming night clerk at the 
Eaton House at a salary of twenty-five dollars per month. In that capacity he 
remained until 1 894. when he bought the lunch room adjoining the hotel, with 
which he was connected until iqoj. He had, however, previous to that time 
taken charge of the Eaton House, September 10, 1898, and continued to conduct 
it until September 1. 1907, when his lease expired. In 1902 Mr. Pierce had also 
purchased the old Ferguson Hotel and used the same as an annex to the depot 
hotel, so that when his lease of the depot hotel gave out he moved into the annex 
and in 1907 remodeled the place and built an addition. This hotel is now modern 
in every way, elegantly and comfortably furnished, has steam heat throughout 
and is equipped with all modern conveniences. He has conducted the same ever 
since with continually increasing success. In 1907 Mr. Pierce made another 




THOMAS M. PIERCE 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 305 

addition and has now fifty rooms at the disposal of his guests, doing the fore- 
most hotel business in the town. He seems to be a born hotelkeeper and the 
position he has attained is the more creditable as he started out in life empty- 
handed. On the 4th of June, 191 3, he purchased the Wales Hotel of Dubuque, 
which is the best hotel in that city, being five stories in height and containing one 
hundred and forty rooms. 

In February, 1911, when the Calmar Savings Bank was organized with a 
capital stock of ten thousand dollars, Mr. Pierce became one of its stockholders 
and has served as vice president since its organization. He also is an extensive 
dealer in real-estate and owns valuable tracts of land in South Dakota and 
Canada. 

In his political affiliations Mr. Pierce is a republican, and although he has 
never cared for office keeps well informed upon all public questions, giving his 
eager support to all movements intended to upbuild and develop Calmar and sur- 
rounding territory. His faith is that of the Methodist church and fraternally 
he is affiliated with the Masonic order, belonging to the lodge in Calmar, and also 
to the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Pierce has come to be recognized as one of the 
substantial men of his community, in the development of which he has played 
no mean part. His career is but proof of the fact that industry and energy pave 
the way to success and that prosperity is but ambition's answer. 



LOUIS A. jIRAK. 



Louis A. Jirak is the proprietor of the Rosebud Farm, a fine property of 
one hundred and forty-five acres lying on sections 28, 29 and 32, Jackson town- 
ship and in its management has displayed both energy and ability, his work being 
rewarded with that success which always follows earnest, well directed and 
persistent labor. He is in addition well known in mercantile circles of Jackson 
Junction as manager of an important lumber concern there and in this connec- 
tion has proven reliable, efficient and discriminating, his business ability being 
undoubted and his business integrity standing as an unquestioned fact in his 
life. He is one of Winneshiek county's most successful native sons, his birth 
having occurred on the 25th of August, 1869. He is a son of Wenzel and 
Mary (Dvorak) Jirak, natives of Bohemia, who came to America in i860, locat- 
ing in Winneshiek county, Iowa, where the father engaged in farming until his 
death which occurred on the 24th of July, 1901. His wife has also passed away, 
dying May 17, 1910. To their union were born twelve children: John, who 
resides in Jackson township; Joseph, of Chickasaw county, Iowa; Wenzel A., 
who resides in Jackson township; a son and a daughter who died in infancy; 
Frank, of Protivin, Howard county ; Louis A., of this review ; William, of 
Winneshiek county; Mary, the wife of Antone Tupy, of Jackson township; Anna, 
the wife of W. A. Busta, of Chickasaw county; Rosie, twin to Anna, who has 
passed away ; and Charles, of Chickasaw county. 

Louis A. Jirak was reared on his father's farm in this county, gaining in 
his childhood an excellent knowledge of the best agricultural methods and of 
all the details of farm operation. At twenty-three he began his independent 



306 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

career, turning his attention to the occupation to which he had been reared, and 
thereafter for five years he engaged in agricultural pursuits, success steadily 
attending his well directed labors. At the end of that time he removed to 
Fort Atkinson and became connected with a lumberyard there, retaining his 
position from 1896 until 1901, when he went to Jackson Junction. He assumed 
management of the lumber company in that community and he still continues 
in this capacity, being known as one of the most resourceful, farsighted and pro- 
gressive men in the town. He makes his home, however, upon his farm and 
is active in its operation, his general farming and stock-raising interests being 
today extensive and important. The Rosebud Farm lies on sections 28, 29 and 
32 and is an excellent property in every particular, reflecting the intelligent 
care and supervision of its owner, who is an able and practical agriculturist. 

Mr. Jirak married Miss Josephine Kupka, who passed away in March, 1896, 
leaving one daughter, Mamie, who married Charles Koudelka, of Sumner town- 
ship, this county. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Jirak was again married, 
his second union being with Miss Anne Pouska, by whom lie has live children : 
Emil, who lives at home ; Cyril, Lydia, Leo and Anna, also with their parents. 

Mr. Jirak is a devout member of the Roman Catholic Church and guides his 
honorable and upright life by its principles. A stanch democrat, he is active and 
prominent in public affairs and has been honored by his fellow citizens by 
election to various positions of trust and responsibility, having served as town 
clerk of the Jackson Junction corporation and as township clerk of Jackson 
township. Both offices he still holds and in the discharge of his important duties 
has proved energetic, able and public-spirited. 



FRANK A. SCHREIBER. 

Frank A. Schreiber is one of the most prominent and important residents 
of Fort Atkinson, where he is known as a capitalist and man of affairs. He was 
born in Sumner township, Winneshiek county, on the 20th of September, 1856, 
and is a son of Anthony and Christina (Vahman) Schreiber, the former a 
native of Switzerland and the latter of Holland. As a young man the father 
came to the United States and settled in Oldenburg, Indiana, whence in 1854 
he came as a pioneer to Winneshiek county. He purchased land and from 
that time until his death, which occurred on the 14th of August, 1878, engaged 
in farming. His wife survived him many years, dying on the 29th of January, 
1891. To their union were born two children: Joseph K., stock buyer for the 
Fort Atkinson Farmers Cooperative Produce Company ; and Frank A., of this 
review. 

Frank A. Schreiber acquired his education in the district schools of Wash- 
ington township and at the age of seventeen began his independent career, 
accepting a position as clerk in a general store at Spillville. This he held for 
two years and at the end of that time came to Fort Atkinson, where he went 
into business for himself, establishing a general store, which he conducted in 
partnership with his brother for twelve years, finally assuming entire control. 
For twenty-two years he continued in successful management of this enter- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 307 

prise, each year witnessing his increased prosperity and the growing importance 
of the trade which he controlled. The liberal patronage accorded to him was 
the result of his straightforward business dealings and honorable methods and 
his activities formed an important element in the promotion of mercantile 
advancement of the community. Air. Schreiber sold his store in 1898 and since 
that time has lived practically retired, having accumulated a comfortable fortune. 
On the 19th of February, 1878, Mr. Schreiber was united in marriage to 
Miss Mary Krick, who passed away May 15, 1895. On the 26th of .May of the 
following year Mr. Schreiber was again married, his second union being with 
Miss Josephine Brockamp, by whom he has one son, Frank C, who was born 
November 12, 1899. Mr. Schreiber is a member of the Catholic church and is 
a man of exemplary character, highly respected and esteemed in Fort Atkinson, 
where his genuine personal worth is well known to his fellow townsmen. 



PAUL E. EGGE. 



A half century seems a long period in which to reside in one locality. The 
residence of Paul E. Egge in Winneshiek county, however, dates from April 
13, 1863, to the present time. It was on that date that he was born on the 
farm which is now his home and throughout the intervening years he has been 
connected with agricultural pursuits in this county. He represents one of 
the old, well known and highly respected pioneer families, his parents being 
Erick P. and Helena (Egge) Egge. They were natives of Norway, where 
they were reared. The father came to the United States in 1848, locating 
first in Wisconsin, where he resided near Racine for about a year, after which he 
came to Winneshiek county, Iowa. He purchased the farm on section 6, Frank- 
ville township, upon which his son Paul now resides, and that remained his 
home throughout his remaining days. He was a carpenter by trade, following 
that occupation for two or three years after his arrival in the United States, 
but later he took up agricultural pursuits. He was married in Winneshiek 
county to Miss Helena Egge, and they became the parents of eight children, 
namely : Carrie, the wife of E. E. Clement, of Springfield township ; Peter A., 
residing in Chicago; Alagdalena, the deceased wife of Gilbert Soland ; Anna, 
who married Andrew Wasgard, of South Dakota; Maria, deceased; Paul E., 
of this review; Emelia A., who married Austin Ode but passed away in South 
Dakota ; and Helen, the wife of Edgar Anderson, of North Dakota. The 
father of this family died on the 30th of October, 1905, having survived his 
wife for three years, her death occurring in January, 1902. 

Both were very active members of the Lutheran church, in the work of 
which they were deeply interested. He also was a stanch supporter of higher 
education and gave liberally of his money and labor toward the building of 
Luther College, which was founded by the Rev. William Koren. Rev. Korenj 
who was the organizer of the Lutheran congregation on Washington Prairie, 
spent the first six months after his arrival in this district at the home of Mr. 
and Mrs. Egge. Both were people of the highest moral character, who were 
held in the highest esteem and good-will by all with whom they came in contact. 



308 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 



Reared on the old homestead amid the busy activities and wholesome environ- 
ment of the farm, Paul E. Egge has devoted his entire life to agricultural pur- 
suits. He has continued to reside on the old home farm upon which he was 
born and in the operation of which he has been most successful. He is now the 
owner of two hundred and fifteen acres all located on section 6, Frankville 
township with the exception of fifteen acres of timber land in Decorah township. 
This property includes the old homestead of one hundred and sixty acres upon 
which his father first located on coming to Winneshiek enmity and which he 
brought to a high state of development prior to his demise. The original home 
of the family, built by the father in 1850, still stands 011 the place. It is a 
log house fourteen by sixteen feet and this Paul E. Egge has given to Luther 
College, and it will be moved to Decorah. Mr. Egge divides his time between 
o-eneral farming and stock-raising, in both of which branches he has been most 
successful for he has ever followed practical, modern methods, lie possesses 
keen business sagacity and has always been actuated by a progressive spirit 
guided by sound judgment. 

Mr. Egge was married in [902 to Miss Helena Bratbaken, who was bom in 
Frankville township and is a daughter of Christian and Helen Bratbaken, natives 
of Norway. The father is deceased but the mother survives ami now makes 
her home with her daugnter. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Egge have been born three 
children. Helena Elizabeth. Esther Marie and Erick. Reared in the Lutheran 
faith. Mr. Egge has ever given hi- support to the church of that denomination 
and its teachings have formed the guiding influence of his life. He is a man 
of high purpose and honorable principles, and during the period of his residence 
in Winneshiek county, covering his entire lifetime, he has won a large circle 
of warm friends wdio hold him in high esteem and regard. 



ERNEST I.. YARWOOD. 

Farming has claimed the attention of Ernest 1.. Yarwood throughout bis entire 
business career, and he is today the owner of one hundred and eighty-eight acres, 
located on section 1, Calmar township. He is a native son of Winneshiek county, 
born on the home farm, of which he is now the owner, in September, 1881. He 
is a son of George W. and Maria (Fee) Yarwood, the former born in England, 
while the latter was a native of Wisconsin. Upon his emigration to the new world, 
the father located 111 New York, but in 1855 be came to Winneshiek county and 
bought land in Calmar township, continuing to cultivate his land until the time of 
his death, which occurred in the fall of 1901. His wife survived for a few- 
years, departing this life November 28, 1908. 

Ernest F. Yarwood took up the tasks of the home farm at an early age and 
as the years passed he assisted more and more in the work of the fields. He 
acquired his education during the winter seasons in the district schools near his 
home. In 1905 he rented the home place and became so successful that in 1911 
he was able to buy his brothers' interest, so that he is now the owner of 
one hundred and eighty-eight acres, lie has improved the place to some extent 
and now has a farm that is a credit to bis labors. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 309 

It was on the 22(1 of February, 1903, that Mr. Yarwoorl was wedded to Miss 
Jennie Risdahl, a daughter of Diedrick Risdahl, who was born in Norway but 
emigrated to America at an early day. Me was a carpenter by trade but after 
coming to Winneshiek county he also farmed in connection with his work of 
carpentry. He was an invalid for many years prior to his death and departed 
this life in 1895. The mother is still living, however, and makes her home in 
North Dakota. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Yarwood has been blessed with 
four children: Dorothy G., a little maiden of six years; George M., four years of 
age; Ethel J., now two years old; and Earl S., an infant of six months. 

Mr. Yarwood's study of the political questions has led him to give stalwart 
support to the republican party, while his religious faith is that of the Lutheran 
church. His has been a busy and well spent life and he well deserves the success 
that has come as a fitting crown to his labors. 



GEORGE EINWALTER. 

George Einwalter, whose business ability, energy and progressive spirit are 
evidenced in his successful conduct of his fine farm of two hundred and forty 
acres on section 11, Jackson township, is a native of Winneshiek county, born on 
the property he now owns on the 9th of June, 1884. He is a son of Fred and 
Margaret (Rice) Einwalter, natives of Germany. The father came to America 
when he was a small boy and located first at Albany, New York, whence he went 
to Wisconsin. After a few years in the latter state he came to Winneshiek county, 
taking up his residence on a farm in Jackson township in 1865. From that time 
until his death, on the 30th of October, 1912, he continued to develop and improve 
his land, becoming one of the prosperous and substantial farmers of the com- 
munity. He took an active part in public affairs, serving in various positions 
of trust and responsibility, including almost all of the township offices and presi- 
dent of the school board. His wife survives him and resides upon the old h<mie- 
stead. In their family were the following children: Catherine, deceased: William, 
who makes his home in Jackson township; Milton C, a resident of Cedar Rapids; 
Paul C. of Sebastopol, California; Mary, the wife of R. E. White, of Walker, 
Iowa; Phillip J., of Albert Lea, Minnesota; Hannah, the wife of Guy Schofield, 
of Strawberry Point, Iowa ; Fred, of Fort Atkinson ; Lizzie, who married George 
Summers, of Fort Atkinson; Emma, the wife of James Puffer, of Fort Atkinson; 
Emil, who has passed away; and George, of this review. 

George Einwalter was reared in his parents' home and from his early child- 
hood assisted with the work of improving and developing the farm, his practical 
experience along this line making him an able agriculturist before he was of age. 
When he was twenty-two he rented the homestead from his father and after one 
year purchased the property which then comprised one hundred and sixty acres. 
To this he has since added eighty acres and upon this property he engages in 
general farming and is especially interested in stock-raising, breeding fine Duroc 
Jersey hogs which command a high price and a ready sale upon the market. 
Extensive improvements have been made upon the farm, the buildings have been 
kept in good repair and added to from time to time, new machinery has been 



310 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

installed and the place today compares favorably with the finest agricultural prop- 
erties in his locality and reflects everywhere the care and supervision of the 
owner, who is a practical, modern and progressive farmer. 

Mr. Einwalter was married in June, 1905. to Miss Anna Lukes and to their 
union have been born three children: George, who was born April 29, 1906, and 
who died on October 11. i<)o8; Edward; and Calvin. 

Mr. Einwalter is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America and is 
a democrat in his political beliefs, taking an active interest in community affairs. 
He is now a director and president of the board of township trustees and has 
proven his ability, energy and public spirit in the discharge of his important duties, 
his influence being always on the side of reform, advancement and growth. He 
is a progressive, wide-awake business man and a public-spirited and loyal citizen 
and the success which has come to him is but the just reward of his own industry 
and good management. 



< ). A. P. HAUGEN. 



In many respects the life of < ). A. P. Haugen has been quietly and unevent- 
fullv passed, inasmuch as he has always made his home in Canoe township and 
has followed farming as a source of livelihood. Those who wish to master well 
the lessons of life, however, may find much that is worthy of emulation in his 
record, for he has ever been industrious and energetic and has believed in per- 
forming to the best of his ability whatever he has undertaken. He has made 
the Canoe Valley Stuck Farm, of which he is the owner, one of the excellent 
properties of the district in which it is located. 

It was in Canoe township, on the 26th of January, 1867, that his birth occurred, 
his parents being Peter L. and Anna ( Sattermoe ) Haugen, both of whom were 
natives of Norway, the former born February 2, 1816, and the latter on the 
29th of October, 1828. They were married in their native land and in 1853 
sailed for America, settling first in Canada, where they remained for one year, 
ihe father being employed in a sawmill. He afterward went to Wisconsin and 
on coming to Winneshiek county. Iowa, took up a claim in Canoe township. To 
this place he brought his wife in the fall of 1854, and with characteristic energy 
began the cultivation of the farm upon which they spent their remaining days. 
The father passed away September i(>. [891, while the mother's death occurred 
on the 20th of December, [906. Peter L. Haugen always followed farming in 
Winneshiek county, and while his claim was wild and undeveloped when it 
came into his possession he left it a splendidly equipped farm, displaying all the 
modern improvements. The boundaries, too, of the place had been extended 
until the eighty acres had been increased to two hundred and seventy. Great 
changes in the environment and in the mode and habits of living had occurred. 
Deer were still numerous in this section at an early date and there was fine 
trout fishing. The Indians also were numerous, not vet having left for reser- 
vations farther westward. In fact, all the evidences of pioneer life were here to 
be seen and the family shared in all of the hardships and privations incident to 
the establishment of a home on the frontier, but as the vears passed time and 




MR. AND MRS. 0. A. P. HAUGEN 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 313 

man wrought many changes and the Haugen family shared in the general pros- 
perity. In politics the father was a stanch republican and held some township 
offices. He belonged to the Norwegian Lutheran church and was the founder 
of the Haugen Evangelical church of Canoe township. Unto him and his wife 
were born three sons and a daughter who died in infancy, while the two surviv- 
ing children of the family were born in Canoe township the elder being Bertha 
L., now the widow of H. L. Hanson and still a resident of Canoe township. 

The younger, O. A. P. Haugen, has always remained in Canoe township and 
has resided on his present farm since 1893, having an excellent tract of land 
of two hundred and sixty acres on sections 22 and 23, 26 and 27. He calls his 
place the Canoe Valley Stock Farm and thereon he raises a high grade of stock 
for the Chicago market. He also buys stock which he ships to Chicago, shipping 
fifteen carloads in the fall of 1912. His business is carefully managed and his 
enterprise and laudable ambition are the salient features in his growing success. 
Aside from his farming and stock-raising interests, he is a director of the Ice 
Cave Creamery Company, of Decorah. 

In 1889 Mr. Haugen was united in marriage to Miss Karen O. Talhaug, 
who was born in Canoe township, April 3, 1871, a daughter of Ole and Johanna 
Talhaug, who were natives of Norway but became residents of Winneshiek 
county during the period of the Civil war. Mr. Talhaug continued a resident 
of Canoe township until his death, and his widow now resides with her daughter, 
Mrs. Haugen. The latter by her marriage has become the mother of fourteen 
children, and with the exception of Oscar, who was the eleventh in order of 
birth and who died at the age of five weeks, all are still living. These are Peter 
O.. Julia, Olga, Emil, Carl, Edwin, Harry, Albert, Alvin, Bessie, Otto Arnold, 
Florence and an infant. 

Mr. Haugen votes with the republican party and is one of the trustees and 
active members of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Canoe township. His 
influence is always on the side of right, justice, truth and progress, and the 
enterprise and industry which he has displayed in his business affairs have made 
him one of the substantial residents of the count v. 



R. M. MILLER. 



R. M. Miller is operating View Lawn Farm which comprises one hundred 
and sixty acres, situated on sections 12 and 13, Burr Oak township. This farm 
is also his birthplace, his natal day being July 5, 1875. He is the youngest in a 
family of three children born of the marriage of Charles E. and Emma (Rollins) 
Miller, the former born in Elizabethtown, Essex county. New York, July 24, 1844, 
and the latter in Wisconsin, August 9, 1852. She accompanied her parents, J. C. 
and Mary S. Rollins, to Iowa during her childhood days, and here spent her 
remaining years, passing away February 13, 1890, at the comparatively early age 
of thirty-eight years. The father, Charles E. Miller, made-the overland journey 
from the Empire state to Iowa when twenty-one years of age. He was accom- 
panied by his father, who lived in this county until his death in 1889, his wife 
having passed away years before. Charles E. later made a trip to Illinois whence 



314 PAST AND PRESENT OF WIXXFSHIEK COUNTY 

he brought the tirst Norman horses ever brought into Winneshiek county. He 
was married in this county in 1N70 to .Miss Emma Rollins. lie purchased the farm 
on which our subject now resides, being engaged in agricultural pursuits through- 
out a long period, or until he retired from active life. He then spent two or three 
years in California and for the past decade has made his home in Canton, Min- 
nesota. After the death of his first wife he wedded Mary Mitson, who still 
survives. Of his first union there are two sons and one daughter, the brother of 
our subject being Edsil M., of Fergus Falls, Minnesota; and the sister, Nellie M., 
the wife of Lyman Hudson, of Colby, Wisconsin. 

R. M. Miller completed his education in Xora Springs Seminary, Iowa. After 
completing his education he engaged in teaching in the common schools for three 
years. However, he chose as his life work the occupation to which he had been 
reared, and is now operating the old home place known as View Lawn Farm, 
located on sections u and 13, Burr < >ak township, and comprising one hundred 
and sixty acres. The land is very fertile and yields good harvests each year, while 
the buildings are substantial and are kept in good condition, so that the farm 
presents a neat and thrifty appearance. Mr. Miller keeps high-grade stock on 
liis farm, breeding black polled Angus cattle, having at the present time forty 
head of registered cattle, at the head of which is Black Eagle C. He likewise 
breeds Duroc Jersey hogs, exhibiting his stock at all the local fairs, where he 
carries off many premiums. For the past seventeen years Mr. Miller has been 
operating the farm on his own account and during this time lie has met with a 
high degree of success. 

Mr. Miller was married in [896, the lady of his choice being Miss Edna 
Miles, who was born in Prosper, Minnesota, March 24. 1879, a daughter of Frank 
R. and Emma Miles, the former now deceased, while the latter makes her home 
in Canada. Two children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Miller: Emma, who 
died at the age of nine months; and Charles, who is with his parents. 

Mr. Miller gives his political support to the men and measures of the republican 
party and for six years has served as assessor of his township. His fraternal 
relations connect him with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is an 
enterprising business man and as a breeder and raiser of stock has become widely 
known throughout Winneshiek county. He and his estimable wife have a wide 
acquaintance and their hospitable home is enjoyed by their mam- friends. 



GILBERT C. IB iRGEX. 



1 iilbert < '.. 1 lorgen owns and operates a fine farm on sections 1 and r 2. Madison 
township, and by constant application has surrounded himself with an enviable 
degree of prosperity. He was born in Xorway on the 8th of May. [866, and is 
a son of Christian P. and Sigrid ( ( iulbrandson ) Horgen, also natives of that 
country. The father came to America in 1869 and located in Whitewater, Wis- 
consin, where he remained until the following fall, removing then to Winneshiek 
county. Iowa. I lere he secured employment as a farm laborer and in 1874 bought 
eighty acres of land in Madison township, turning his attention to its improve- 
ment and cultivation. From time to time he added to his holdings until he owns 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 315 

two hundred acres of fine land, upon which he still resides, lie has, however, 
retired from active life, having earned a period of leisure by well directed work 
in the past. 

Gilbert C. Horgen was three years of age when his parents came to America. 
He acquired his education in the public schools of Madison township and divided 
his time in his childhood between his studies and work upon the homestead. In 
1898 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 12, .Madison township, 
and after clearing one hundred acres of this tract purchased more. land. lie now 
owns two hundred and eight)' acres on sections 1 and 12, his place being among the 
most desirable in Winneshiek county. Aside from general agriculture Mr. Horgen 
engages also in stock-raising, making this a profitable department of his business. 
He gives a great deal of time and attention to his farming interests and enjoys 
the reputation of being one of the progressive agriculturists in this vicinity. 

October 6, 1909, Mr. Horgen was united in marriage to Miss Anna Haugen, 
a daughter of llalver and Louisa Haugen, natives of Norway, who came to 
America at an early date and settled in Madison township, where the father is still 
engaged in farming. 

Mr. Horgen is a stockholder and a director in the Farmers Creamery Company 
of Decorah, and also in the Farmers Hog Buying Company of that city, and his 
business ability is widely recognized and respected. He gives his political allegi- 
ance to the republican party and was for two terms township trustee, rendering 
his fellow citizens faithful and capable service. He is a man of sterling traits of 
character, reliable in business, progressive in citizenship, and at all times trust- 
worthy and capable. 



GEORGE A. BIEBER. 



George A. Bieber, controlling an important and well established hardware 
store in Fort Atkinson, is a native of Iowa, born in Allamakee county on the 
1 ith of December, 1866. He is a son of Philip and Caroline (Ebersohl) Bieber, 
natives of Germany, who came to America about the year 1855 and located 
in Allamakee county, where the father purchased land, carrying on general 
farming until his death, which occurred April 1, 1881. He was one of the 
pioneers in this part of Iowa and traveled overland with ox teams, arriving in 
Allamakee county in 1857. His first home was a crude log shanty and a picture 
of this dwelling is still in possession of the subject of this review. Philip Bieber's 
wife survives him and makes her home in Fort Atkinson. They were the par- 
ents of three children: Philip and Caroline, deceased; and George A., of this 
review. 

George A. Bieber spent his childhood upon his father's farm in Allamakee 
county and at the early age of sixteen began his independent career, becoming 
identified with the hardware and tinning business in Waukon, where he remained 
for two years. He afterward spent a short time in Postville and on May 
19, 1885, arrived in Fort Atkinson, where he has since remained, a valued 
and respected resident. For about five years and a half he clerked in a tinning 
establishment and at the end of that time purchased the business, of which 



316 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

he has been the proprietor since the ioth of February, 1890. He conducts 
today the oldest hardware concern in the fourth congressional district with one 
exception and is in control of an important trade along this line, his patronage 
having steadily grown as his honorable and straightforward business dealings 
have become more widely known. He is in addition interested in the G. A. 
Bieber Hardware Company at Lawler, is a director in the Iowa Mutual Insur- 
ance Company, and is widely known in mercantile circles of this section of the 
state. 

On the 2d of June, 1892, Mr. Bieber was united in marriage to Miss Lida M. 
Summers and both are well known and favorably regarded in Fort Atkinson. 
Politically Mr. Bieber gives his allegiance to the republican party and he is 
connected fraternally with the Masonic order and the Modern Woodmen of 
America. He deserves great credit for his successful career, for industry, ability 
and a progressive spirit have constituted the basis of his prosperity and his 
genuine personal worth has enabled him to maintain his high standing in the 
community as a substantial and desirable citizen. 



EDWARD J. PARMAN. 

Edward I. Parman, one of the leading druggists of Decorah, has here been 
successfully engaged in business along that line for the past two decades. His 
birth occurred in Butler county, Iowa, on the nth of September, 1867, his 
parents being Joseph and Hannah (Natzke) Parman, both natives of Germany, 
the former born in 1840 and the latter in 1845. Joseph Parman, an agriculturist 
by occupation, emigrated to the United States when a youth of sixteen, locating 
in Woodstock, Illinois, where he remained for four years. On the expiration 
of that period he removed to Butler county, Iowa, there purchasing a large 
tract of land. He was there married and remained on that farm until 1890, 
when he put aside the active work of the fields and took up his abode in Cedar 
Falls, Iowa, where he lived retired until his death in December, 19 12. His 
widow still resides at her home in Cedar Falls. She was a maiden of ten years 
at the time she accompanied her parents on their emigration to the new world. 
the family home being established in Butler county. Iowa. 

Edward T- Parman obtained his early education in the public schools of Finch- 
ford, Iowa, and the college at Mount Morris, Illinois. Subsequently he took up 
the study of pharmacy in Northwestern University of Chicago and was grad- 
uated from that institution in 1893. In the same year he came to Decorah, 
Iowa, and in association with I. W. Brunt bought out the drug business of 
Charles Rudolph, whose store stood on the present site of the plant of the De- 
corah Furniture Company. Rater he removed to his present store and in 1910 
purchased Mr. Brunt's interest, having since remained the sole proprietor of the 
establishment. He carries an excellent line of drugs and druggists' sundries 
and enjoys an extensive and well merited patronage. He is likewise a share- 
holder in the Decorah Gas Company, the American Drug & Press Association 
of Decorah and the Thompson Roat & Pattern Works of Decorah and his care- 
fully managed interests have brought him prosperity. 




EDWARD J. PARMAN 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 319 

In politics Mr. Parman is a stanch republican, while his religious faith is 
indicated by his membership in the Congregational church of Decorah. Fra- 
ternally he is identified with the Masonic blue lodge; Lodge No. 230, Knights of 
Pythias ; and Lodge No. 443, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Decorah. 
Tn private life he has been actuated by principles which govern honorable and 
upright manhood and the same high ideals have ever been manifest in his business 
dealings. 



WILLIAM C. FIFIELD. 

William C. Fifield, a veteran of the Civil war and an early settler in Winne- 
shiek county, has been connected with the agricultural interests of Fremont town- 
ship since 1865 and since that time has become one of the largest landowners and 
most representative farmers in this vicinity. Throughout the entire period he 
has made his home upon his present farm and his individual prosperity, which 
is the result of his untiring industry, is counted an important factor in general 
development. 

Mr. Fifield was born in Rutland county, Vermont, July 16, 1843, and is a 
son of William and Laura (Ransom) Fifield, natives of that state, where the 
paternal ancestors settled in very early times. The house which was built by 
the grandfather of the subject of this review is still standing and in good condi- 
tion, although it is over one hundred and fifty years old. William Fifield, father 
of the subject of this review, was a machinist by trade and operated a foundry 
and machine shop in Vermont until the summer of 1854, when he moved to 
Winneshiek county and entered a quarter section of government land in Fremont 
township. After improving this place to some extent his health failed and he 
was ever afterward an invalid, although he spent the remainder of his life upon 
his vrra, dying in 1880. He was a man of excellent education, a college graduate, 
and or many years a school-teacher and when he first settled in Winneshiek 
county taught the little log cabin school. His wife survives him and makes her 
home with the subject of this review at the age of ninety-eight. 

William C. Fifield acquired his education partly in Vermont and partly in 
Winneshiek county, being eleven years of age when his parents settled here. He 
remained upon his father's farm until September, 1862, when he enlisted in Com- 
pany D, Sixth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, for service in the Civil war. He was 
mustered out in November, 1865, and afterward returned to Winneshiek county. 
His father gave him forty acres of land in Fremont township and to this he soon 
afterward added the adjoining one hundred and twenty acres. This farm he 
cleared and improved with characteristic energy and from time to time bought 
more land until he became one of the most extensive property owners in this 
vicinity. Much of his land he has divided among his children but he retains a 
fine tract of three hundred and twenty acres, which, owing to his able management, 
is one of the best improved and most valuable farms in the township. In addition 
to this he owns a slate mine in Vermont and he spends much of his time in that 
state. 

Mr. Fifield married, on the 2d of June, 1869, Miss Malinda Shelmidine, a 
daughter of Date and Sarah (Hunter) Shelmidine, natives of Pennsylvania. The 



1 1 



320 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

parents were among the first settlers in Winneshiek county and the father took 
upland in Fremont township, where the town of Kendallville now stands, engag- 
ing in the nursery business there during the remainder of his life. He served as 
a member of the county board of supervisors during the Civil war and was other- 
wise prominent in public affairs. His death occurred in 1878, he having survived 
his wife since 1873. Air. and Mrs. Fifield have become the parents of ten children : 
Viva, the wife of William W. Howard, a farmer in Orleans township; l.aura. 
who married Ray Goldsworthy, engaged in farming in Minnesota; < )live, the wife 
f Harry Goldsworthy, of this township: Linda, now Mrs. Andrew Elliott, of 
Monticello, Minnesota; Ethel, Vesta, Edna and Clinton W.. who reside at home; 
Ffarry, who died in 1872; and Julia, who passed away in 1876. 

Mr. Fifield belongs to the Methodist church and is connected fraternally with 
the Grand Army of the Republic. He gives his political allegiance to the repub- 
lican party and from early manhood has been interested in public affairs. For 
thirteen consecutive years he served as township trustee and live years ago was 
again elected to this office, in which he is now serving. He has also been township 
assessor and in this and other positions of public trust and responsibility has 
proved conscientious, capable and reliable in the discharge of his duties. In 
Winneshiek county, where he has so long resided, he holds the respect and confi- 
dence of all who come in contact with him, being regarded as an able agriculturist 
and a progressive and public-spirited citizen. 



REV. S. A. SCARVIE. 

Rev. S. A. Scarvie is a minister of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran 
synod of America, now in charge of the Glenwood congregation. Almost Ins 
entire life has been given to the holy calling, in which he now labors, and his 
efforts have been of marked influence as a factor in the development of its 
success. He was born at Telemarken. Norway. July 16. 1863, and came to the 
United States with his parents in [872, settling in Faribault county, Minnesota. 
He is a son of Aslak and Sigrid (Vraali) Scarvie, who were also natives of 
Telemarken, the former born August jo. 1825, ami the latter on the 7th of 
February, of the same year. They were married July 9, 1846, and in 1872 
came to America. The mother died in 1875 and the father, who had made 
farming his life work, passed away September 7. [902. In their family were 
eight children of whom two died in Norway, while six came to the United States 
and five are now living. 

The Rev. S. A. Scarvie. who is the youngest, was reared upon the home 
farm in Minnesota, pursuing his education in the graded and high schools of 
Winnebago. He afterward took up the profession of teaching at the age of 
twenty-one years and was thus engaged both in his home county in Minnesota 
and in Winnebago county. Iowa. In 1884 he went to Norman county. Minnesota, 
where he engaged in teaching until appointed county superintendent of schools. 
Later he was elected to that position, serving for two and a half years. He 
then returned to Faribault county where he married Miss Magdalena Iverson. 
who was born in Nicollet countv. Minnesota. 



['AST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 323 

For a year after his marriage the Rev. Scarvie and his young wife resided 
upon a farm which he had purchased and then removed to Delavan where he 
edited and published the Delavan Herald for four years. For three years of 
that time he also served as postmaster of the town. Wishing, however, to 
devote his life to the ministry, he entered the Luther Seminary at St. Paul, 
Minnesota, in 1898, there pursuing a three years' course which he completed 
by graduation in the class of 1901. He then went to Allamakee county, Iowa, 
where he took charge of the East and West Paint Creek congregations of the 
Lutheran church, continuing in that position for four years, until he came to the 
Clenwood congregation in October, 1906. He also acts as minister for the con- 
gregation at Canoe Ridge, in Pleasant township. His labors as a minister of 
the gospel have been far-reaching and beneficial and his zeal is untiring while 
his consecration to the work makes him one of the strong and able representatives 
of the Lutheran ministry. 

Unto Rev. and Mrs. Scarvie have been horn eight children. Stella R., Aria 
O.. Stanley M., Walter !'>., Norman (1., Theresa C, Esther V. and Vivian C. 
M., all yet in school. Aside from his active work in the church Mr. Scarvie 
lahors earnestly and untiringly along various lines for the public benefit. He 
has always been an active temperance worker and is president of the Law and 
Order League of Winneshiek county. In politics he was a republican until [912, 
when he joined the progressive wing of the party. This was characteristic of 
him for his life has been actuated by a spirit of progress, advancement and im- 
provement and he does everything in his power to promote the moral, intellectual, 
political and social as well as material welfare of the community in which he 
makes his home. 



ALMOND WHEATMAN. 

For the past fifteen years Almond Wheatman has been prominently connected 
with the agricultural and stock-raising interests of Calmar township, and is today 
one of the most representative and substantial farmers of that locality, own- 
ing and operating one hundred and sixty acres of fine land on section 2. lie 
is a native son of that township, horn September 20, 1868, his parents being 
Henry and Maria (Daniels) Wheatman, natives of England. The father came 
to America in the early *6os and located in Winneshiek county, Iowa, where 
he purchased land in Calmar township. This he operated until 1896 when 
he retired from active life, moving two years later into Decorah, where he still 
resides. His wife passed away in 1892. 

Almond Wheatman acquired his education in the district schools of his native 
township and in his childhood assisted his father with the work of the farm, 
becoming before he had attained his majority a practical and able agriculturist. 
When he .was twenty-four years of age he rented land which he operated for five 
years, at the end of which time he purchased eighty acres on section 2, Calmar 
township. To this he later added another tract of eighty acres and thus owns 
today one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land. Cpon this he has made 
substantial improvements in building and equipment and has steadily carried 



322 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

forward the work of development, making the farm today worthy of comparison 
with the finest agricultural properties in this section of the stale. 

< )n the 2d of March, 1893. Mr. Wheatman was united in marriage to Miss 
Bertha Fristad, a daughter of 1 laagen and Carrie Fristad, natives of Norway. 
The parents came to Winneshiek county at an early date ami here the father 
engaged in farming, still making his home upon the property which he bought at 
that time. Mr. and Mrs. Wheatman have become the parents of three children: 
Myrtle, aged nineteen; Elmer, seventeen; and Beatrice, eight. -Mr. Wheatman 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party and he takes an active inter- 
est in the affairs of the community where his entire life has been spent. He is 
a man of many fine qualities of character, strong and resolute in purpose, in- 
dustrious and enterprising; and he is well known throughout the community for 
his uprightness and honesty, meriting and enjoying the respect and confidence 
of his neighbors and friends. 



I' >Sh I'll SCHJSSEL. 



Through well directed business activity and enterprise Joseph Schissel has 
gained recognition as one of the prosperous farmers of Winneshiek county. He 
owns an attractive homestead of two hundred acres on section 16, Military town- 
ship and since 1858 has lived in the county, during a great portion of which time 
his labors have not only contributed to his own prosperity but have also proven 
effective forces in advancing the general welfare. 

Mr. Schissel was born in Germany on the 15th of June, 1843, and is a son of 
Peter and Mary Schissel, who came to America in 1845, settling in Pennsylvania. 
In that state they resided for thirteen years and at the end of that time moved to 
Iowa, taking up their residence near Festina in Winneshiek county. The father 
purchased land in that locality and upon that property engaged in agricultural 
pursuits until shortly before his death which occurred in Ossian in t<)0~. He had 
long survived his wife who passed away in 1863. To their union were born five 
children: Barbara. George, Peter and John, who have passed away; and Joseph 
of this review. 

When Joseph Schissel was fifteen years of age he accompanied his parents 
to Winneshiek county and he has remained a resident of this part of Iowa since 
that time, having won in the interval the respect, confidence and esteem of all 
with whom he has been associated. In his childhood he assisted with the work 
of the homestead, becoming a practical and able agriculturist, and at twenty- 
four he rented the home farm from his father, taking entire charge of its opera- 
tion for one year. At the end of that time he rented one hundred and sixty acres 
additional land and for more than two years and a half managed both proper- 
ties, his well directed labors being rewarded by a gratifying measure of success, 
lie eventually purchased land of his own, buying two hundred acres upon which 
he resided for seven years, selling it at the end of that time and buying another 
farm similar in extent, the land lying on section 16, Military township. Five 
acres are in timber but upon the remainder he carries on general farming and 
stock-raising, both branches of his enterprise being profitable as a result of his 



c 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 323 

energy, ability and industry. Upon his farm he has made substantial improve- 
ments, having remodeled the residence, erected a fine barn and the necessary 
outbuildings, and installed modern labor saving machinery. He has made it one 
of the finest agricultural properties in this part of the county, its appearance 
being a striking evidence of the care and labor he has bestowed upon it. 

Mr. Schissel married Miss Carrie Bohardt and to their union were born six 
hildren : Joseph, who resides in Military township ; Peter, of Calmar, Iowa ; 
Nicholas, of Military township; John, at home; Mary the wife of Antone Clerc; 
and Barbara, who married Henry Scheidemantel. 

Mr. Schissel is a member of the Roman Catholic church and his political al- 
legiance is given to the democratic party. Having been a resident of this part of 
Iowa since his childhood, he has witnessed practically its entire development 
and he has to a great extent assisted in the work of advancement and progress 
along agricultural lines. Wherever he is known he is honored and respected 
for he is a man of many sterling traits of character, reliable in business, progres- 
sive in citizenship and at all times upright and trustworthy. 



HANS T. LIOUIN. 



No farmer in Winneshiek county has won greater success in agricultural pur- 
suits or stock-raising than Hans T. Liquin, whose fine property lying on sec- 
tion 2, Pleasant township, is a visible evidence of his life of industry and thrift. 
He was born in Os Po Bergen, Norway, on the 9th of August, i860, and is a 
son of Torsten Nelson Moberg and Guro Knudsdotter Lekven, who spent their 
entire lives on a farm in Norway. They were the parents of eleven children, 
three of whom came to America; the subject of this review; Carrie, who mar- 
ried Peter Johnson Thorbey, who died in Nebraska ; and Lena, the widow of 
Ossef Harrison, a resident of Sheldon, North Dakota. Two sons in this family 
died in Norway. The name was Lekven in that country and is taken from the 
title of the farm held for many generations by representatives of the family. 
Hans T. Lekven's mother bore the same name and she was a sister of his wife's 
father, who came from the same farm in the mother country. 

Hans T. Liquin remained in Norway until 1S82 and then crossed the Atlantic 
on the State Line ship the State of Nevada, pushing westward immediately 
upon his arrival and settling in Winneshiek county, where he worked as a farm 
laborer for Knudt K. Liquin, who afterward became his father-in-law. For 
one year he was employed in Plymouth Rock but after his marriage he and his 
wife rented Knudt K. Liquin's farm for two years, afterward going to Tama 
county, where the subject of this review worked in an elevator for some time. 
Returning he took up his residence upon his present farm on section 2, Pleasant 
township, and he has given practically all of his attention to its development since 
that time. In 1908 he erected upon it a fine modern residence and he has built 
good barns and outbuildings and installed the necessary labor-saving machinery. 
Everything about the place reflects his careful supervision and intelligent man- 
agement and both the general farming and the stock-raising departments are 
important sources of income to him. 



324 PAST AND PRESENT < >F WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

In 1886 Mr. Liquin was united in marriage to his cousin. Annie C. Liquin, 
born in Pleasant township, June 23, i S 5 7 . She is a daughter of Knudt K. Liquin. 
whose birth occurred in Norway on the 4th of March 1824, he being a son of 
Knudt and Rachel Liquin, whose entire lives were spent in that country. Knudt 
K. Liquin and his brother Christian both came to America, the former arriving 
in (852 and the latter two years later. In Norway Knudt Liquin had for a num- 
ber of years followed the life of a fisherman oft" the coast of that country but 
upon his arrival in the LTnited States turned his attention to farming in Wiscon- 
sin, this occupation engaging his attention during the remainder of his active 
career. After a short period of residence in Wisconsin he came to Pleasant 
township, Winneshiek county, Iowa, locating on a farm of two hundred and forty 
acres, to which he gave his entire attention until his death, in 1901. He married 
in Illinois in the year of his arrival in America, Miss Carrie Williamson, who had 
made the journey to the United States upon the same ship. She was born in 
Norway in 181 r and died on the Liquin farm in Pleasant township in 11)04. 
when she was ninety-three years of age. In their family were two children : 
Knudt, who lives in Montana; and Annie C. wife of the subject of this review. 
Mr. and Mrs Hans T. Liquin became the parents of six children. Carl was born 
March 1, 1887, and died September 25, 1910. He had completed a business 
course in the Upper Iowa Business College. George was born on the 6th of No- 
vember, 1889, and died on the 14th (if February in the same year. Cora's birth 
occurred on the 19th of July, 1890. ( )scar was born May 2, 1893. Lily was 
born September 27, 1895. Fritchof. who completes the family, was born Febru- 
ary 12. 1898. 

Although Hans T. Liquin has been in America since he was a young man 
and has proven himself a loyal and patriotic citizen, he is nevertheless interested 
in the affairs of his native country and keeps abreast with its political and social 
development. At the time of the coronation of King Haakon he made the jour- 
ney across the Atlantic in order to witness that event. He is a devout member of 
the Norwegian Lutheran church and he gives his political allegiance to the 
republican party, taking an active interest in everything relating to the growth 
and advancement of the community where he has so long resided. In the course 
of years his contributions to the general agricultural development have been 
many and substantial and his successful career has only added to the high regard 
and esteem in which his name has long been held in this community. 



TOHN E. DYRLAND. 



John E. Dyrland, who owns and operates a well improved and productive farm 
of two hundred and fifty acres on section 3, Calmar township, is numbered among 
the worthy native sons of Winneshiek county, his birth having occurred in 
that township on the 27th of October, 1869. His parents, Engebert J. and 
Gertrude (Haugen) Dyrland, are both natives of Norway. The father emigrated 
to America in an early day and made his way direct to Winneshiek county, Iowa. 
Three or four years later he purchased land in Calmar township and after 
improving the property continued its operation until 1892. In that year he 




BABY DYRLAND 




JOHN E. DYRLAND AND FAMILY 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 327 

leased the farm and purchased and took up his abode upon a tract of land 
belonging to his father-in-law, Ole Haugen, near Conover, s Calmar township, 
there carrying on general agricultural pursuits until 1909. For the past four 
years he has lived retired at Calmar with his wife, who also still survives. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Dyrland are well known and highly esteemed throughout the 
community for their upright, honorable lives and many excellent traits of char- 
acter. 

John E. Dyrland was reared and educated in this county, pursuing his studies 
in the district schools. He was twenty-three years of age when his father left 
his first farm and left him and a brother in charge, the two young men operating 
the place together for one year. Our subject then rented and cultivated the 
farm alone for nine years, on the expiration of which period he purchased the 
property, comprising two hundred and fifty acres on section 3, Calmar township. 
To the further cultivation and improvement of that place he has devoted his 
attention to the present time, and his well directed labors have been attended 
with a gratifying measure of success, his fields annually yielding bounteous 
harvests. Mr. Dyrland is a stockholder in the Calmar Creamery Company of 
Calmar and the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah. 

On the 29th of November, 1893, Mr. Dyrland was united in marriage to 
Miss Bessie Bolger, a native of this county and a daughter of David and Evelyn 
(Vanpelt) Bolger. Her father was born in Pennsylvania and her mother in 
Wisconsin. They came to this county with their respective parents in an early 
day, and David Bolger followed farming in Canoe township throughout his 
active business career, with the exception of nine years spent near Mitchell in 
South Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. Dyrland have five children, as follows : Edwin, 
a young man of eighteen ; Walter, Hazel and Ethel, who are seventeen, eleven 
and eight years of age respectively; and Melvin, who is in his first year. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Dyrland has sup- 
ported the men and measures of the republican party, while his religious faith 
is that of the Lutheran church. Both he and his wife have spent their entire 
lives in Winneshiek county and enjoy an extensive and favorable acquaintance 
within its borders. 



THEODORE GULLIKSON. 

Theodore Gullikson, the owner of one hundred and eighty-three acres of 
valuable land on sections 15 and 16, Lincoln township, devotes his attention to 
farming and stock-raising and enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the pros- 
perous and representative citizens of his community. That place has remained 
his home from his birth to the present time, his natal day being November 5, 
1867. 

His parents, Gullick Thompson and Sarah (Olson) Gullikson, were both, 
natives of Norway. They came to this county in the early '50s, locating on 
the farm in Lincoln township which is now in possession of our subject. The 
father devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits throughout his active busi- 
ness career and met with success in his undertakings. His demise occurred 



;;_'s PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

April i, 1903, while Mrs. Gullikson was called to her final rest June 9, 1890. They 
had won many friends in the community and were deeply and sincerely mourned. 
Their children are seven in number, as follows: Ann, the wife of Guilder Olson, 
of Grafton, North Dakota ; Ole, a resident of Lincoln township, this county ; 
Caroline, who is the wife of Charles Jacobson and resides in Bismarck, North 
Dakota; Julia, living in Grafton, North Dakota; Theodore, of this review; and 
Alfred and Anton, both residents of Buford, North Dakota. 

Theodore Gullikson was reared to manhood on the old homestead place and 
early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agri- 
culturist as he assisted his father in the work of the fields. As above stated, 
he has always remained on the home farm, the property coming into his posses- 
sion when he purchased the place in 1894, being then a young man of twenty- 
seven years. At that time it embraced one hundred and forty-three acres but 
he has since extended its boundaries by an additional purchase of a tract of forty 
acres on section 16. His barns are up-to-date and substantial and he is now 
erecting a two-story modern residence. He cultivates the cereals best adapted 
to soil and climate and also devotes considerable attention to stock-raising, both 
branches of his business bringing him a gratifying annual income. 

As a companion and helpmate on the journey of life Mr. Gullikson chose 
Miss Tilda Rue, by win mi he has four children. .Mice Beatrice, Grace. Olive 
Luella and I'.essie, all at home. 

In politics Air. Gullikson is a stanch republican, while his religious faith is 
that of the Lutheran church, lie has never figured conspicuously in local af- 
fairs, although he is not remiss in the duties of citizenship but gives his support 
to movements which will promote the welfare of the community. He is well 
known as a member of one of the old families of the county, and the work 
begun by his father in pioneer times has been continued by the son with the result 
that he is now the owner of an excellent farm, highly improved, and his labors 
are an element in the agricultural progress of this part of the state. 



REV. KNUT SEEHUUS. 

The record of the work of Rev. Knut Seehuus as minister of the Norwegian 
Lutheran church at Locust and Big Canoe is the record of a life great in its 
simplicity, high in its ideals and important and varied in its accomplishments 
in the cause of Christianity. For over twenty-seven years he has lived in 
Winneshiek county, aiding the work of religious expansion by beneficial and far- 
reaching activity in its cause and by the example of an honorable and upright 
life well and worthily lived. 

He was born near Molde, Norway, on the 3d of May, 1859, and is a son 
of Christopher B. and Margaret Seehuus, also natives of that country, who 
crossed the Atlantic in the year 1872 and settled in Chicago. The father died 
in that city in 1875 and the mother now makes her home with the subject of this 
review. For a number of years she was a practicing midwife in Chicago and 
was one of the prominent Norwegian settlers in the city, her biography finding 
a leading place in a volume entitled "Prominent Scandinavians of Illinois." 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 329 

In this family were two children: Rev. Knut, of this review; and Dr. O. M., 
who practiced in Highlandville, this county, from 1893 to 1902, building during 
that time a hospital in that city. In the latter year he removed to North Dakota 
and thence to l'.aronett, Wisconsin, where he is now in the active practice of 
his profession. 

In the acquirement of an education Knut Seehuus attended Latin school 
in Norway, but after settling in Chicago was obliged to lay aside his books, 
the family being at that time very poor. With the intention of aiding them he 
learned the Morse system of telegraphy and worked for three years thereafter 
in a telegraph office. In the fall of 1875 he entered the Luther College at 
Decorah, Iowa, completing the prescribed course in 1881, after which he went 
to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, completing a three years' course 
in theology in 1884. After he was graduated he was ordained to the ministry 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church at Chicago and entered upon his duties as 
immigrant missionary and assistant pastor in New York city. 

After two years and a half he came to Iowa and here in the fall of 1886 
married Miss Elizabeth C. H. Stub, a daughter of Rev. H. A. Stub, a pioneer 
Norwegian clergyman of America. Mr. Seehuus became assistant to his father- 
in-law and pastor of the German congregation at Locust and he did such vital 
and far-reaching work that in 1893. when Mr. Stub went to Norway, he was 
chosen his successor as pastor of Big Canoe and Highland congregations. He 
has served these churches ably and well since that time and has steadily extended 
the field of his activities, founding in 1904 the congregation at Mabel, Minnesota, 
and building a church there in the following year. He is now serving that 
church and has also under his jurisdiction three Norwegian congregations and 
one German, he being the only Norwegian clergyman in America to preach 
steadily in three languages, English, Norwegian and German. The cause of 
religion in this section of Iowa finds in him an earnest, sincere and able ad- 
vocate, a man zealous and apostolic in his work of spreading the religious doc- 
trines in which he believes and in promoting that general religion of good will 
and honorable dealings. His doctrines find worthy exemplification in his life 
which, being upright, honorable and straightforward in all its relations, has 
brought him widespread honor and esteem with the people among whom he has 
so long lived and labored. He was in 191 2 chosen secretary of the board of 
directors of the Lutheran Publishing House at Decorah. He is a member of 
the Missionary Commission for the Iowa district of the Norwegian synod and 
assistant to the president of that district, and he stands high in the councils of 
the church he has served so ably for more than a quarter of a century. 

Mr. Seehuus' first wife passed away in 1887, leaving one son, Olaf, who 
died two years later in Chicago. In 1893 Mr. Seehuus was again married, 
his second wife being in her maidenhood Miss Helga C. Vedeler, of one of the 
most prominent families in Bergen, Norway, and at that time preceptress at 
the Lutheran normal school at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Their only son 
is George K., born in 1903. 

A resident of Winneshiek county for twenty-seven years, Mr. Seehuus has 
seen the period of its greatest growth, and his work in the interests of religion 
has been a vital factor in directing the course of its development. He has 
indeed done a splendid work here among the people of his faith and he has 



330 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

their love in large measure, while he enjoys the respect of people of all denomina- 
tions. He is a man of scholarly attainments, most earnest and consecrated in 
all his activities, and he is ever watchful of the interests of his people among 
whom he has accomplished a great and lasting work in the cause of Christianity. 



PETER II. RUEN. 



Winneshiek county is greatly indebted to Norway for the class of enter- 
prising citizens which that country has furnished to the Hawkeye state. A great 
majority of the residents of this county are natives of or trace their lineage to the 
land of the midnight sun. Among the latter class is Peter H. Ruen, now actively 
and successfully engaged in general farming and stock-raising on section 25, 
Glenwood township, where he has made his home since the spring of 1898. His 
parents are Hans P. and Ingebaar Ruen, who are still residents of Glenwood 
township. They are now well advanced in years. The father was born in Nor- 
way, October 13, 1828, and is a son of Peter and Annie (Olson) Ruen, who in 
i8=;o sailed for the United States, but the mother died while they were upon the 
ocean. Peter Ruen with his two sons and three daughters, continued on their 
way to the new world and later they were joined by two other sons, one of whom 
had been born by a former marriage. On the 1st of August, 1850, Peter Ruen and 
his children arrived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, thus concluding a journey which 
was begun at Christiania on the 1st of May. In July, 1851, he and his son 
Hans and three of his daughters took up their abode in Winneshiek county, 
where Peter Ruen continued to make his home until he was called to his final 
rest at the very venerable age of ninety-two years. By the father's first mar- 
riage there was a son, Jens, who was born in 1821. The children of the second 
marriage were: Ivar; Ole, who died in October, 1893; Hans P.; Eileen; Kjerstie; 
and Martha. All are now deceased with the exception of Hans P., who in con- 
nection with his brother Ole secured what is known as the old Ruen Farm in 
1858. This they operated together for three or four years, at the end of which 
time Hans P. Ruen purchased his brother's interest, remaining upon the old home- 
stead which has been his place of residence since 1851. He is today the oldest 
settler living in this Norwegian district. Several Norwegian families came at the 
same time and planted a colony which has been an important feature in the up- 
building and improvement of Glenwood township. Hans P. Ruen has one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, constituting the southwest quarter of section 35. He was 
formerly the owner of a larger tract but has sold some of it to his sons. 

In politics he is a democrat, while his religious faith is that of the Lutheran 
church. He has held various offices in the church and has been an active factor 
in promoting the moral progress of the community. He deserves much credit 
for what he has accomplished, as he was in very limited financial circumstances 
when he arrived in the new world, and all that he now possesses has come to 
him as the direct reward of earnest, persistent labor. 

It was in 1855 that Hans P. Ruen married Miss Ingebaar Stranbakken. who 
was born in Norway. September 27 '. 1830, and came to the United States in 1850 
on the same ship with her future husband. Her father died in the old country, 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 331 

but her mother, three sisters and two brothers came to the United States. Mr. 
and Mrs. Hans P. Ruen have ten children: Louise, who died in 1910; Clara, the 
wife of John Ehrl of Waukon ; Peter; Gustava ; Mina; George and Victor, 
both of Glenwood township; Julia, the wife of Peter Wegeslund, of Decorah ; 
Rudolph, of Glenwood township ; and Theodore, who operates the home farm. 

Peter H. Ruen, the third of this family, has resided in Glenwood township 
from his birth to the present time, was reared to the occupation of farming and 
has made it his life work. He began farming on his own account when twenty- 
three years of age. purchasing eighty acres, to which he has since added a similar 
tract until he now has one hundred and sixty acres, constituting the northwest 
quarter of section 25. He has a good residence and substantial outbuildings, 
together with well kept fences and the latest improved farm machinery. He 
took up his abode here in the spring of 1898 and has since engaged in general 
farming and stock-raising, both features of his business proving profitable. 

In 1896 Mr. Ruen was united in marriage to Miss Mary Hagen, who was 
born in Allamakee county, Iowa, in August, 1863, a daughter of Hans and 
Sigrid Hagen, who were natives of Norway and spent their last days in Alla- 
makee county, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Ruen have one child, Stella Irene. The 
parents hold membership in the Lutheran church, are actively interested in its 
work and contribute generously to its support. His political allegiance is given 
to the republican party, with which he has been identified since age conferred 
upon him the right of franchise. His life has been quietly passed, yet his 
sterling worth is recognized by all, for he has been found reliable and progres- 
sive in business and has never sought to take advantage of another in trade 
transactions. 



EDWARD M. BARNES. 

Edward M. Barnes, who devotes his attention to general agricultural pur- 
suits with excellent results, is the owner of a well improved farm of one hun- 
dred and sixty-three acres on section 27, Fremont township. . He is numbered 
among the worthy native sons of Winneshiek county, Iowa, his birth having oc- 
curred in that township on the nth of May, 1856. His parents are Richard and 
Mary (Middlebrook ) Barnes, both natives of Connecticut. The father came to 
this county in 1854 and took up the homestead of one hundred and sixty acres 
which is now in possession of our subject. After clearing the property he began 
its improvement and carried on agricultural pursuits thereon until t88o, when 
he removed to Kendallville and embarked in business as a general merchant. 
In 191 1 he abandoned mercantile pursuits and has since lived retired in Kendall- 
ville, being now eighty-seven years of age. The period of his residence in this 
county covers almost six decades and he has long enjoyed an enviable reputation 
as one of its prosperous, representative and esteemed citizens. 

Edward M. Barnes was reared and educated here, attending the district 
schools and later continuing his studies in Breckenridge Institute of Decorah and 
also at Cresco in Howard county. In 1880, when his father turned from agri- 
cultural to mercantile pursuits, he rented the home farm and thus continued 



332 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

its operation for a number of years. The property is now in his possession and 
comprises one hundred and sixty-three acres of rich and productive land on sec- 
tion 27, Fremont township. He has made many improvements thereon and in the 
conduct of his farming interests has won a gratifying measure of success, annu- 
ally gathering bounteous harvests which find a ready sale on the market. His 
holdings include an excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the Black 
Hills of South Dakota. 

On the 22d of September, 1880, Mr. Barnes was united in marriage to Miss 
Matilda Todd, her parents being James and Eliza ( Boyce ) Todd, the former a 
native of Ireland and the latter of Ohio. James Todd emigrated to the United 
States in the '50s, locating at Elgin, Illinois, where he was employed in a foundry 
for some time. When Winneshiek county land was opened up he came here and 
acquired a tract, improving and operating the same during the remainder of 
his life. His demise occurred April 20. 1887, while his wife was called to her 
final rest on October 15. 1899. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have been born six 
children, as follows: Earl, who passed away on January 10. 1897: Grace, the wife 
of Fred Smith, of Salem, South Dakota; Robert, who is a resident of Minne- 
sota ; Amy, a trained nurse by profession ; and Ervin and Cornelia, both at home. 

Mr. Barnes exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and meas- 
ures of the republican party and in religious faith is a Methodist, while frater- 
nally he is identified with the Yeomen. His entire life has been spent on the 
farm where he now resides and he is therefore well known throughout the com- 
munity, having an extensive circle of friends and acquaintances. He is ranked 
among the enterprising and substantial citizens of his district and his activities 
in the cultivation of his fine farm are regarded as a valuable influence in agri- 
cultural development. 



PERRY H. WHITNEY. 



Perrv H. Whitney, prominently identified with commercial interests of Burr 
Oak as a partner in the conduct of the business operated by the Burr Oak Mer- 
cantile Company, was born near Watertown, in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, 
May 29, 1858. He is a son of Bravton and Martha (Rockwood) Whitney and 
is the second in a family of seven children. 

Perrv H. Whitney came to Winneshiek county with his parents in 1867 and 
was reared upon his father's farm in llesper township, acquiring his education 
in the district school. He remained at home until 1881 and then removed to 
Ransom county. North Dakota, making the journey with his father and his 
brother, L. B. Whitney. For a number of years he went back and forth between 
Winneshiek county and North Dakota, spending his winters in the latter place 
until 1884, when he married and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits 
upon the old homestead. After the death of his father, which occurred in August, 
1894, he sold his North Dakota interests and in connection with his brothers, 
Milton D. and Claude R., operated the farm until 1898, when Claude Whitney 
died. The subject of this review and his brother Milton remained upon the 
homestead for one year thereafter and at the end of that time Perry H. sold his 




MR. AND MRS. PERRY H. WHITNEY 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WIXXESIIIEK C< >UXTY 335 

interests and removed to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where he spent one year and 
a half. He next removed to Clark county, that state, and there engaged in 
fanning until 1912, when he formed a partnership with Dr. W. H. Emmons, 
organizing the Burr Oak Mercantile Company. They control a large and profit- 
able general store in Burr Oak and in one year have secured an excellent pat- 
ronage, accorded them in recognition of their reliable and honorable business 
methods and their straightforward dealings. 

In 1884 Mr. Whitney was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Loretta Keefer, 
a native of Columbus, Wisconsin, and they became the parents of three children : 
Ray, who was killed at the age of eight years ; Lottie, who died at the age of eleven 
months; and Bessie, who lives at home. Mr. Whitney is a man of many ster- 
ling qualities and these have gained him the respect and high esteem of all with 
whom he is associated. 



SAMUEL RICE. 



A well improved farm of one hundred and seventy acres, located on sections 
25, 26 and 36, Burr Oak township, and known as Fair Oaks Stock Farm, is the 
home of Samuel Rice, he having resided thereon since 1858. He was born on a 
farm thirty miles west of Montreal, Canada, on the 4th of November, 1845, a 
son of Thomas and Mary (Cobine) Rice, both of whom were natives of County 
Monaghan, Ireland. There they were reared and married and in 1832 with 
their two children, they emigrated to Canada, making that place their home until 
1858, when they removed to Winneshiek county. The father here purchased 
the farm on which our subject now resides, the place comprising one hundred and 
seventy acres of land in sections 25, 26 and 36, Burr Oak township. The father 
was a weaver and followed his trade in Ireland but after coming to Canada he 
engaged in farming and during his residence in Winneshiek county he followed 
the same pursuit. After leaving their native country five more children were 
added to the household, the family record being as follows: William and John, 
deceased; James C, who resides in Canton, Minnesota; Thomas, also of Canton; 
Mary J., twin sister of Thomas, and the wife of Joseph Stuart, of Bluffton town- 
ship, Winneshiek county ; David, who makes his home in Burr Oak township ; and 
Samuel, of this review. The father gave his political support to the republican 
party, while his religious belief was that of the Presbyterian church, in the faith 
of which he died September 10, 1871, at the advanced age of seventy-five years. 
His wife survived for more than two decades, departing this life November 9, 
1891, when she had reached the extreme old age of ninety-two and a half years. 

Samuel Rice was reared to farm life and when he started out on his own 
account he chose this as his occupation. He accompanied his parents on their 
removal from Canada to Winneshiek county, being at that time a lad in his teens. 
He has since made his home on the farm of which he is now the owner, the place 
comprising one hundred and seventy acres, located on section 25, 26 and 36, 
Burr Oak township, and known as Fair Oaks Stock Farm. Formerly for many 
years Mr. Rice made a specialty of raising shorthorn cattle, Shropshire sheep 
and Poland China hogs but now gives his attention more particularlv to general 



336 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

farming. Although he has now reached the age of sixty-eight years he is still 
active in the work of the farm and takes a just pride in keeping everything about 
the place in good repair. 

Mr. Rice was married on the 9th of February, 1876, to Miss Henrietta Pierce, 
a native of McHenry county, Illinois, born December 28, 1849, a daughter of 
John H. and Vesta (Hitchcock) Pierce, both natives of Schoharie county. New 
York, where they were reared and married. They subsequently came to the middle 
west, first locating in McHenry county, Illinois, later, in 1854, settling in Burr 
Oak township, Winneshiek county, where Mr. Pierce continued his work as 
a farmer. The mother died April 13. 1895, at the age of seventy years, while 
the father, surviving for ten years, passed away in May, 1905, at the ripe old 
age of eighty-three years. In their family were seven children: Charles, a res- 
ident of Canton. Minnesota; Stephen, who has departed this life; Mrs. Rice; 
Marietta, the wife of Daniel Smith, of Canton, Minnesota; Tohn, wno ; s 
deceased; Alonzo, a resident of Burr Oak township; and Mrs. Harriet Kimber, 
who is also deceased. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Rice was born but one daughter, Stella, now the wife 
of Claude Headington, of Burr Oak township. They have also reared a niece, 
Maude Pierce, who is still with them. Following in the political footsteps of 
his father, Mr. Rice has given his support to the republican party since he 
attained his majority. He has made his home on his present farm for the past 
fifty-five years, so that the place has grown dear to him through his long con- 
nection therewith. He has ever taken a deep interest in the welfare of the county 
where he numbers his friends by the score,- and he is everywhere accorded that 
respect and veneration which should be extended to one who has traveled thus 
far on the journey of life. 



PETER JOHNSON. 



Peter Johnson is at the head of the firm of Peter Johnson & Sons of Decorah, 
which conducts one of the largest establishments of the kind in this part of the 
country, doing a heating and plumbing as well as general machine business and 
also operating a garage. His birth occurred in Hadeland, Norway, in March, 
1848, his father being John Peterson, likewise a native of that place. The latter, 
being confronted and beset by hardships, determined to seek a home in the new 
world of promise and accordingly emigrated to the United States with his wife 
and two sons, Peter and Andrew. The family located near Koshkonong, Wis- 
consin, in 1852. where they remained for several years, Mr. Peterson being 
employed as a farm hand. In 1858 they went to Black Earth, Wisconsin, making 
the removal with a team of oxen. Mr. Peterson there entered land and began 
clearing and improving the property, to the cultivation of which he devoted his 
attention throughout the remainder of his life. 

Peter Johnson, who was four years of age when brought by his parents to the 
United States, learned the blacksmith's trade in Wisconsin as soon as his age and 
strength permitted. He served as foreman of the Mandt Manufacturing Company 
for several years and subsequently came to Decorah, Winneshiek county, Iowa, 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 337 

here working at his trade in the employ of the Decorah Manufacturing Company 
for some time. He then formed a partnership with a Mr. Obon and for about live 
years was engaged in business as the junior member of the firm of Olson & John- 
son. On selling out to Mr. Olson he established the enterprise which he now 
conducts and has since carried on a heating, plumbing and general machine 
business, operates a garage and also an automobile repair shop. The estab- 
lishment is one of the largest of its kind in this part of the country and is 
equipped with all the latest and most modern machinery, while employment is 
furnished to fourteen men. In igoi Mr. Johnson admitted his stepson, Oscar, 
to a partnership and in June, 1912, his sons, George and Melvin, became mem- 
bers of the firm, which was incorporated under the name of Peter Johnson & 
Sons. The gentleman at its head possesses splendid executive ability and sound 
judgment and the success which has attended his efforts is well merited. 

Mr. Johnson has been married twice. He first wedded Miss Emma Simley, 
who passed away in 1887, leaving the following children: George W.. Melvin, 
Alma, Nora, Ida, Isaac and Otis. For his second wife Mr. Johnson chose Mrs. 
Mary Bander. He owns a handsome residence at No. 714 McLane street. Fra- 
ternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the 
Yeomen, while his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. 



MARTIN J. AKRE. 



Martin J. Akre, a partner in the Highlandville Creamery, is leading a busy 
and useful life that brings to him a substantial measure of success as the years go 
on. Moreover, he is recognized as a citizen of genuine worth, interested in all that 
pertains to the substantial progress of the community. He was born in Pleasant 
township, May 1, 1867, a son of John and Martha (Servold) Akre. There were 
nine children in the family, of whom he was the second in order of birth and 
the eldest son. His youthful days were spent with his parents and during that 
period he attended the public schools and worked in the fields, but when twenty 
years of age he left home and sought employment as a farm hand, spending two 
years at farm work by the month. For a year he was in North Dakota, working 
as a farm hand, but in December, 1891, returned to Winneshiek county and was 
here employed through a part of the succeeding summer. 

Anxious, however, to engage in business on his own account, Mr. Akre bought 
a cream route and began collecting cream, at which he has since been engaged. 
After three years he purchased a third interest in the Highlandville Creamery and 
eight years later, through a change in the partnership, became half owner of the 
business his partner being his brother-in-law, P. J. Bidne. Since June, 1892, Mr. 
Akre has been engaged in collecting cream from the farmers, while his partner 
has charge of the inside work of the creamery. Success has attended the under- 
taking and the large annual output finds ready and profitable sale in Chicago. In 
addition to his creamery interests Mr. Akre was president of the Highlandville 
Telephone Company for two years. 

Since engaging in his present business Mr. Akre has erected a nice home upon 
his place, giving him a fine view over the village of Highlandville. He was married 



338 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

on the 26th of June. 1895, to Miss Lena Peterson, who was born in Canoe town- 
ship, February 14. 1871, a daughter of Lars Peterson Eide and Carrie Christina 
Hanson. Her parents were natives of Norway and the mother died during the 
early girlhood of Mrs. Akre. Some years afterward the father retired to 
Decorah, where his death occurred. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Akre have been born 
five children: James Lawrence, who died at tiie age of three years; Leonard 
Melvin, born September 1, 1901 ; Perry, who died when but five weeks old; Walter 
Eugene, who was born August 30, 1905 ; and Norman Clifford born December 
6, 1907. 

In politics Mr. Akre is a republican and gives stalwart support to his party. 
The cause of education finds in him a stalwart champion and he has been secretary 
of the independent school district since its organization in May, 1904. He was 
also a director of the Norwegian school for three years. He belongs to the P.ig 
Canoe Lutheran church of Pleasant township and has been one of the revisers for 
the congregation for the past three years. He does everything in his power to 
promote the work of the church and extend its influence and is equally active 
in furthering the cause of education and in promoting the material progress and 
development of town and county. 



B. O. DAHLY. 



In recounting the history of progress of Winneshiek county a prominent place 
in its development must be given to B. O. Dahly, one of the early merchants of 
Decorah and a pioneer of this state. Although there have passed eighteen years 
since his death occurred, his memory is still fresh in the minds of the people 
who knew him and esteemed him. Born on Christmas day in 1826, in Chris- 
tiansand, Norway, and of Norwegian parentage, he spent his early life in his 
native city and in Christiania, the beautiful capital of the northern kingdom. 
The intervening period to the time of his demise comprised over sixty-eight 
years, his death taking place in Decorah on March 18, 1895. An active boy with 
ambition to gain a place for himself, he early began to look for opportunities 
and soon decided that there was no country that offered greater advantages 
than the new world and at the age of eighteen, in [844, with a party of other 
young people, braved the deep and came to the United States in a sailing ves- 
sel, the crossing being made under difficulties and dangers and consuming about 
three months. He first located in Chicago, where for several years he worked 
in the McCormick Machinery Company and by thrift and industry succeeded in 
saving enough money to invest in city kits in that city, which lie subsequently dis- 
posed of at a handsome profit. While in Chicago he first met his future wife, 
Miss Margaret Knutsen, who was learning the millinery trade in that city. Her 
home was Whitewater, Wisconsin, and there subsequently Mr. Dahly was married 
to her. While in Chicago he organized the first Norwegian Sunday school class 
which was ever held there. He lived for a time in Whitewater, Wisconsin, 
coming subsequently with teams and horses to Freeport, Iowa, with the intention 
of founding a city there. Securing help, he built the first wagon road between 
Freeport and Lansing and then hauled the lumber to Freeport in order to begin 




PS. 0. DAIII.Y 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 341 

building operations. Sending to Wisconsin for carpenters, he soon had erected 
a new hotel, a general store, a livery barn and a millinery store. The hotel was 
called the Young American Hotel and was conducted by our subject, who in- 
vested in land there and soon the place began to grow and make advancement. 
He also operated the general store, while his wife took charge of the millinery 
store at the same time. At that time the controversy began as to the location 
of the county seat between the people of Decorah, headed by "Mother Day," and 
the people of Freeport, headed by Mr. Dahly. A great fight ensued to obtain 
the coveted prize, but "Mother Day" won the victory for Decorah and naturally 
Freeport began to decline. Largely for that reason Mr. Dahly soon sold out 
and, coming to Decorah, erected a store next door to where the Winneshiek Hotel 
now stands. Therein he opened a millinery stock. In 1865, at the close of the 
war, Mr. Dahly built the store which he conducted for the rest of his life and 
which continues in a flourishing condition today under the able management of 
his widow. The new establishment was ceremoniously opened and christened 
by a large entertainment and dance, given in honor of the soldier boys returning 
from the war, and in November, 1865, the place opened its doors for business. 
General merchandise was largely handled, including cloaks, dress goods, shoes, 
millinery, dry goods and other articles, Mr. Dahly being ably assisted by his wife, 
who, however, did not long benefit by the successful turn their fortunes had 
taken, as she was stricken with paralysis while on a business trip to Chicago in 
1867. She had gone to that city in order to purchase millinery goods and there 
died on Christmas day of that year. Mr. Dahly continued to conduct his store 
with ever increasing success until his death on March 18, 1895, becoming one of 
the foremost merchants of the town. For thirty years he was connected with 
this enterprise and made a name for himself which stood foremost for fair deal- 
ing and honesty. Paying close attention to business and being wide-awake and 
progressive, he made a success of which evidence remains today in the profitable 
establishment which is still carried on by the widow. For the last three years 
of his life he was an invalid and although he could do no active work in the 
store, kept well informed upon all matters of management and kept in touch 
with the business until his death. By his first wife Mr. Dahly had one son, 
Frank W., who is now engaged in the hardware business at Northwood, South 
Dakota. As prosperity came to Mr. Dahly he invested in land, buying a valu- 
able farm near Decorah, from which he received a steady and handsome income. 
The widow still owns this place, which is managed and operated by their son, 
Charles, who now resides there. 

In 1877 Mr. Dahly was again married, his second union being with Miss 
Caroline Shuttleworth, a daughter of Henry and Caroline (Nutt) Shuttleworth, 
both natives of England. They went from London to Toronto, Canada, where 
Mrs. Dahly was born, and later removed to Cleveland, Ohio, in which city Mr. 
Shuttleworth owned and conducted a jewelry store, going from there to Elyria, 
that state. In that city he also owned a store which he subsequently traded for 
land at Cresco, Iowa. However, he was not satisfied with the prospects his 
place offered and he subsequently sold out and preempted prairie land, going 
back to Ohio to bring his family to Iowa. Mrs. Shuttleworth suddenly died ten 
years later and her husband sold the farm and moved to Cresco, where he 
engaged in the livery business. He died at the home of his daughter, the wife 



342 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

of our subject, in Decorah in 1903, having made his residence with Mrs. Dahly 
three years before passing away. Mr. Dahly by his second wife became the 
father of four children, as follows: Charlotta Cotilia who died at the age of 
sixteen; Amelia, who died when but six months old; Henrietta, who passed 
away very suddenly at the age of eighteen; and Charles Lewis, who cultivates 
the family farm and is married to Miss Josie Fuller, of Cresco. They have 
four children, Henrietta, Joseph, Dorothy and Katie. 

Progressive and public-spirited, the welfare of Decorah was always near the 
heart of Mr. Dahly, who championed every moment or measure undertaken to 
benefit the city along moral, intellectual or material lines. In politics he was a 
republican but not an office seeker. He gave his allegiance to the Norwegian 
Lutheran church, of which he was a member and in the work of which he took 
an active and helpful interest. Fraternally he was connected with the Masons, 
belonging to the blue lodge at Decorah. Mrs. Dahly carries on the important 
business interests left in her charge upon the demise of her husband and guides 
the establishment with a steady hand, the annual increases in business being 
evidence of her ability. She attends and supports the Episcopal and Congrega- 
tional churches of Decorah, being always deeply interested in charitable causes. 
She is highly respected and esteemed by all who know her, her sweet womanly 
qualities having won the friendship of many. Mr. Dahly's memorv is still en- 
shrined in the hearts of the people who knew him and who cannot forget his 
kindly, open-hearted ways, his pleasing personality, his true manhood and the 
spirit of helpfulness which prevaded all his actions. As a pioneer merchant he 
played an important role in the history of Decorah and his name is among the 
honored ones in the annals of the city. 



JOHN F. KORBEL. 



John F. Korbel. who for the past seven years has served as assessor of Cahnar 
township, is also operating his own well improved farm of one hundred and thirty 
acres in Calmar township. He was born here, his natal day being August 18, 1875. 
His parents, Frank and Johanna ( Michall) Korbel, were both natives of Bohemia. 
Upon his emigration to America, the father chose Winneshiek county as his place 
of abode, and in a short time thereafter made a purchase of the farm which is 
now owned by the son. The land was raw and unimproved when it came into 
his possessi* m but he eventually made it one of the valuable farm properties of 
his part of the township. He continued actively in the work of the farm until the 
time of his death, which occurred April 28, 1895. The mother still survives and 
now makes her home in Spillville. 

John F. Korbel was reared under the parental roof, being employed at work on 
the home farm from an early age. In the winter months he pursued his education 
in the district schools of Calmar township and also attended the Conover school. 
He assisted his father on the home place until the latter's death, and subsequently 
he purchased of his mother the home farm, since which time he has made improve- 
ments and now has an up-to-date farm property. In addition to this he also owns 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 343 

residence property in Spillville. He is likewise a stockholder in the Calmar 
Creamery Company and is a director and stockholder in the Calmar Savings Bank. 

Mr. Korbel was married in September, 1898, the lady of his choice being Miss 
Mary Taylor, a daughter of Michael and Catherine (Bruka) Taylor, the former 
a native of Iowa and the latter of Bohemia. Mr. Taylor is engaged in farming in 
Jackson township. Mr. and Mrs. Korbel have become the parents of a daughter 
and two sons, Mary, Joseph x\. and William J., aged respectively fourteen, twelve 
and nine years. 

Mr. Korbel gives his political support to the democratic party, while his 
religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Catholic church. He is like- 
wise affiliated with the Western Catholic Union. He is an upright and honest 
man, as is indicated by the fact that his fellow townsmen have so long continued 
him in the office of township assessor. He is devoted to his home and his family 
and through the able assistance of his wife he has met with well merited success. 



OLAUS RL'EN. 



Olaus Ruen is the owner of a well improved farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres situated on section 25, Glenwood township. Here he engages in the cultiva- 
tion of the crops best adapted to soil and climate and also raises stock. His entire 
life has been passed in Glenwood township, save for a year spent in Minnesota. 
He was born in this township March 2, 1S6S, his parents being Ole and Carrie 
(Egge) Ruen, natives of Norway. 

The father was born October 14, 1825, and was in his twenty-fifth year when 
in 1850 he came with his parents to the United States, settling first in Racine, 
Wisconsin. The spring of 1851 witnessed his arrival in Glenwood township, 
Winneshiek county, and in 1855 he took up his abode upon the farm now owned 
by his son Olaus. His mother died while they were crossing the ocean and his 
father passed away in 1879. Ole Ruen continued a resident of this county to the 
time of his demise, which occurred in October, 1893. While in his native land he 
had learned the shoemaker's trade and he followed it for many years after coming 
to the new world, but at the same time was engaged in farming, to which he made 
shoemaking a side issue. At one time he was the owner of one hundred and eighty 
acres of land, which he cultivated, and was numbered among the enterprising 
agriculturists of the community. In politics he was a democrat and filled the 
offices of township trustee and justice of the peace. He was also treasurer of the 
school board for a period of years and took deep interest in the educational wel- 
fare of the community. The Lutheran church found in him an active and influ- 
ential member and his influence was ever on the side of right, progress, justice and 
truth. He became connected with the Mutual Insurance Company, a local organ- 
ization, of which he was one of the directors. His wife was born in Norway. 
May 25, 1830, and in company with her sister Martha came direct to Iowa in 1854. 
It was in October of that year that she gave her hand in marriage to Ole Ruen, 
since which time she has resided in Glenwood township, now making her home 
with her son Olaus. Her children were eleven in number: Peter, a resident of 
Kenyon, Minnesota; Amelia, living in Decorah ; Henry, who will make his home in 



344 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Steele countv, Minnesota until December. 1913. when he will move to a farm which 
he has purchased in Frankville township, Winneshiek county; Cornelia, the wife 
of John Moe. of Glenwood township; ( )laus; Maria, the wife of O. C. Evans, of 
Glenwood township; Margaret, who is the widow of Andrew Haugen and lives in 
Frankville township; and four children who died in infancy. 

Olaus Ruen has been a lifelong resident of Glenwood township, save for the 
period of a year spent in Steele county. The educational opportunities accorded 
him were those afforded by the public schools. He was early trained in farm 
work and became familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for 
the crops. In his youth he worked as a farm hand and since starting out in 
independent business has carried on general agricultural pursuits, being now the 
owner of one hundred and sixty acres on section 25, Glenwood township, which 
includes the old homestead and an additional tract of forty acres. Here he carries 
on general farming and also makes stock-raising a feature of the place. His farm 
presents a neat and attractive appearance and gives evidence of the progressive 
spirit of the owner. 

On the 23d of May, 1900, Mr. Ruen was married to Miss Amanda Egge, who 
was born in Glenwood township, June 14, 1880, a daughter of Hans and Emmer- 
ense (Dahlen) Egge. who were natives of Norway but are now residing in Decorah. 
The four children of this marriage are Lawrence, Olgar, Eleanor and Adolph, all 
born upon the home farm. 

The parents hold membership in the Lutheran church and have long been help- 
fully interested in its work, Mr. Ruen serving as church treasurer for the past 
twenty years. His political views were in accord with the principles of the repub- 
lican party for an extended period, but he is now a progressive. For two terms he 
served as township trustee and made a good officer, but has always preferred to 
concentrate his energies upon his business affairs, which capably directed, have 
brought him substantial and well merited success. 



MARION F. I 'RICE. 

Marion F. Price is an enterprising farmer, operating a farm of two hundred 
and forty acres, located on sections 2(1 and 27, Burr ' )ak township. He is one 
of the countv's native sons, for his birth occurred in Locust, Pleasant township, 
November id. 1869. He is the fourth in order of birth in a family of eight chil- 
dren, the parents being Daniel and Nancy (Wise) Price, the former born in 
Vestal Center, New York, May 17, 1832, and the latter in Venango county, 
Pennsylvania, November 26, 1835. Mrs. Price went to Illinois with her parents, 
Samuel and Phoebe (Meriman) Wise and after spending two years in the Prairie 
state they continued their journey westward, locating 111 Winneshiek county, the 
year of their arrival here being 1857. Mr. Price had come to the county the 
previous year and they were married here February 24, 1859. He died here on 
the 29th of November, 1907, at the advanced age of seventy-five years, but the 
mother still survives and yet resides on the home place with our subject. Although 
she is now seventy-eight years of age, she is very active for one of her years. 
During the past two years she has caught two hundred and sixty-seven gophers 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 345 

on the farm, receiving from the county the usual bounty of ten cents per pair 
for the front claws. By her marriage she became the mother of eight children, 
namely: James, of Decorah, Iowa; Lucy, twin sister of James, the wife of E. H. 
Van Vliet, of Stevensville, Montana ; Robert, a resident of Decorah ; Marion F., 
of this review ; Jane, the wife of E. E. Elingson, of Charleston, North Dakota ; 
Edward, who died when a young man of twenty-four years ; George, of Reed- 
point. Montana: and David, also a resident of Decorah, Iowa. 

Marion F. Price was reared in much the usual manner of farm lads, assisting 
in the work of the fields and the cultivation of crops during the planting and har- 
vesting seasons, while in the winter months he pursued his studies in the district 
schools. He is now operating the home farm for his mother, having under his 
direction two hundred and forty acres, located on sections 26 and 27, Burr Oak 
township. He thoroughly understands his work, uses modern methods in carrying 
on his agricultural pursuits and his labors are annually rewarded by golden 
harvests. 

It was on the 12th of March, 1895, that an important event in the life of Mr. 
Price occurred — that of his marriage to Miss Alice Landon. who was born in 
Burr Oak township, February 25, 1870, a daughter of Z. B. Landon, now residing 
in Burr Oak. She has by her marriage become the mother of one daughter, 
Florence. 

Mr Price supports the men and measures of the republican party and at the 
present time is serving as township assessor, while he has also filled the positions 
of clerk and trustee of the township. His fraternal relations connect him with the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows.' He has spent his entire life in Winneshiek 
county and his present place of residence has been his home since 1874. He 
therefore has a wide acquaintance and is well liked wherever he is known. 



ELLISTON F. CHASE. 

Elliston F. Chase, one of the enterprising and representative agriculturists of 
Winneshiek county, owns an excellent farm of one hundred and sixty acres on 
section 15, Fremont township, which he has operated continuously for the past 
thirteen years. His birth occurred in Springwater, this county, August II, 1867, 
his parents being Lindley M. and Mary C. ( Gove ) Chase, natives of Weare, New 
Hampshire. The father was born in 1823 and was thirty years of age on coming 
to Iowa in 1853. He remained for a short time in Muscatine, coming to Winne- 
shiek county in 1855. He made his home in Canoe township and taught school 
in West Decorah in 1857, being the only teacher employed at that time. In 1862 
he went to St. Anthony. Minnesota, as a passenger on a river boat to St. Paul 
and remained in St. Anthony one season sawing shingles. After his return to 
Winneshiek county he was married, in 1863, to Miss Mary C. Gove, who was 
born in 1833. In 1870 he removed to Clay county, Iowa, and took up a homestead 
of eighty acres near Spencer, which he improved, and was engaged in its operation 
for six years. On the expiration of that time he returned to Winnesheik county 
and resumed farming. From 1878 until January, 1885, he had charge of the 
coun'-y poor farm at Freeport and then engaged in the cultivation of rented land 



346 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

in this county until 1894, when he went back to Clay county, there purchasing a 
farm which he operated until 1910. Selling that place, he removed to Spencer, 
where he now makes his home. Besides filling the office of steward of the poor 
farm he was also assessor of Canoe township, this county, for two years and tax 
collector for the same length of time. 

Elliston F. Chase was reared and educated in Winneshiek county, obtaining 
his early training in the district schools and subsequently attending Breckenridge 
Institute of Decorah for two years. He then taught in the country schools for 
three years and on the expiration of that period went to Lansing, Minnesota, 
where he spent two years as a teacher in the town school. During the following 
year he was engaged as an instructor at Racine, Minnesota, and then taught school 
at Barnum, that state, for five months, while later he spent three months as teacher 
in his own private school. Returning to Winneshiek county, he was here married 
and took up his abode on his wife's farm in Fremont township, which he improved 
and has operated continuously since or for a period of thirteen years. The property 
embraces one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 15 and is devoted to the 
cultivation of cereals. Mr. Chase likewise raises thoroughbred recorded short- 
horn cattle and in all of his undertakings has met with well merited success, being 
numbered among the substantial and representative citizens of his community. 

On the 8th of November, 1899, Mr. Chase was united in marriage to Miss Ella 
Todd, a daughter of Christopher and Jane ( Gorman ) Todd, both of whom were 
natives of Ireland. Her father emigrated to the United States in the early '50s 
and for a short time resided in Elgin but subsequently came to Winneshiek county. 
Iowa, and entered the land which is now in possession of Mrs. Chase. He 
improved the property and was busily engaged in its cultivation until the period 
of the Civil war. In September, 1862, at Decorah, he joined Company D of the 
Thirtv-eighth Iowa Infantry and served with that command until the cessation 
of hostilities. After returning from the war he devoted his attention to the opera- 
tion of his farm until called to his final rest in August, 1893. His wife had passed 
away in June of the same year. 

In politics Mr. Chase is an adherent of the new progressive party, while his 
religious faith is that of the Methodist church. Fraternally he is identified with 
the Masons at Canton. Minnesota, and the Modern Woodmen of America at 
Harmony, that state. As a patriotic citizen he keeps well informed on national 
and local affairs and his constant aim while advancing his own interest is also to 
promote to the extent of his ability the general welfare of the community. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Chase are well and favorably known here, the circle of their friends 
being almost coextensive with the circle of their acquaintances. 



JOSEPH STEINMETZ. 

Since 1890 Joseph Steinmetz has been engaged in agricultural pursuits upon 
his present farm and the years since that time have brought him success and 
prominence as a reward of his industry and careful management. He now 
owns three hundred acres of valuable land lying on sections 21 and 28, Orleans 
township, and one hundred and nine acres on section 30, Fremont township, 



CO 

ft 



p; 




PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 349 

and is accounted among the most progressive and able agriculturists of his 
vicinity. 

Joseph Steinmetz was born in Sumner township, this county, August 3, 1861, 
and is a son of Joseph and Sophia (Miller) Steinmetz, natives of Germany, 
the former of whom came to America in 185 1 and the latter in 1855. The 
father located immediately in Iowa and engaged in farming in Sumner town- 
ship until his death, which occurred in 1865. His wife survives him and 
makes her home in Calmar. To their union were born six children: Mary, 
deceased; Regina, the wife of Philip Herold, of Howard county'; Sophia, who 
married M. Herold, of Minnesota ; Joseph, of this review ; Margaret, who has 
passed away ; and Bernard, also deceased. After the death of her first husband 
Mrs. Steinmetz married Ulrich Frey, now deceased, and they became the parents 
of nine children : Albert and Charles, of Sumner township ; Louisa and Cathe- 
rine, twins, the former the wife of Joseph Brockner, of Calmar, and the latter 
deceased; Anna, who married Robert Heiser, of Decorah ; William, of Cresco; 
Katie, deceased ; and Phillip and Bertha, twins, the former a resident of Spill- 
ville and the latter deceased. 

Joseph Steinmetz spent his childhood upon the home farm and at an early 
age became familiar with the best agricultural methods. At eighteen he began 
earning his own livelihood, working as a farm laborer, and in 1890 he bought 
one hundred and forty acres lying on sections 21 and 28, Orleans township. To 
this he later added one hundred and sixty acres on section 28, and he has also 
purchased one hundred and nine acres of valuable land on section 30, Fremont 
township. He has made substantial improvements upon his homestead, erect- 
ing barns and outbuildings and neglecting nothing which would add to the value 
or appearance of the place. His general farming and stock-raising interests 
are extensive and his success places him in a high position in the agricultural 
circles of this part of the state. 

On the 2d of July, 1894, Mr. Steinmetz was united in marriage to Miss 
Sophia Prinz and they have become the parents of six children, Luella, Leonard, 
Clinton, Joel, Elmer and Catherine. Mr. Steinmetz is a member of the Lutheran 
church and is connected fraternally with the Modern Woodmen of America and 
the Woodmen of the World. He is a democrat in his political beliefs and has 
made an excellent official record as a member of the school board and as road 
supervisor. 



JOSEPH K. SCHREIBER. 

loseph K. Schreiber, well known in commercial circles of Fort Atkinson as 
buyer and manager for the Farmers Produce Company, was born in Franklin 
county, Indiana, on the 6th of January, 1854, and is a son of Anton and Christina 
Schreiber, the former a native of Switzerland and the latter of Holland. The 
father came to America as a young man and settled in Oldenburg, Indiana, whence 
in 1854 he came to Winneshiek county, where he engaged in farming during the 
remainder of his life, dying on the 14th of August, 1878. His wife survived him 
many years, passing away on the 29th of January, 1891. 



350 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Joseph K. Schreiber acquired his education in the public schools of Winneshiek 
county, whither he was brought by his parents when he was still an infant, and from 
early boyhood assisted with the operation of the homestead. At the age of twenty- 
two he assumed entire management of this farm and after the death of his 
father remained in control until he was thirty years of age, at which time he 
made an entire change in his active pursuits, turning his attention to the mercan- 
tile business in Fort Atkinson. He formed a partnership with his brother Frank 
and continued in association with him for twelve years, after which he sold his 
interests and returned to his farming operations, again cultivating the family 
homestead. After two years, however, he came again to Fort Atkinson and 
bought a livery business there, which he successfully conducted for six years, 
selling it at the end of that time in order to engage in farming. He has now six 
hundred and forty acres of land in the Panhandle of Texas, a property which 
is bringing him a gratifying annual income. Mr. Schreiber, however, does not 
give it his personal attention for in 1912 he became connected with the Farmers 
Produce Company of Fort Atkinson as buyer and manager. In this position his 
excellent business and executive ability has been called forth and he has accom- 
plished a great deal of important work for the concern, being numbered today 
among its most trusted and worthy representatives. 

On the 18th of June. 1875, Mr. Schreiber was united in marriage to Miss Mary 
Kabla and to their union were born eleven children : Anton, a jeweler of Fort 
Atkinson ; George F., who is associated with his father in business ; Annie, the wife 
of William Burns, of Phoenix, Arizona; Edward, of Wagner, South Dakota; 
Frances, who married F. C. Smith, of Fort Atkinson ; Cecilia, who follows the 
profession of nursing at Fargo, North Dakota; Philip of Miles City, Montana; 
Catherine, a Sister in a convent at Milwaukee, Wisconsin ; Eleanor and Cornelius, 
both at home ; and a child who died in infancy. 

Mr. Schreiber is a member of the Roman Catholic church and politically gives 
his allegiance to the democratic party. Although not an active politician he is 
interested in the growth and development of Fort Atkinson and in his business 
capacity has already done a great deal of work which is important as a factor in 
promoting general commercial activity. 



PETER K. NESTE. 



Peter K. Xeste is one of the highly respected citizens of Winneshiek county, 
owning a well improved and valuable farm of one hundred and eighty-five acres, 
located on section 36, Madison township. He was born on the farm which is now 
his home, November 24, 1854, a son of Knute K. and Ingie ( Hambre ) Xeste, both 
of whom were natives of Norway. Upon his emigration to the new world, the 
father located first in Koshkonong, Wisconsin, the year of his arrival being 1853. 
He spent but a few months there, however, soon removing to Winneshiek county. 
Here he purchased a tract of eighty acres, which he at once set about clearing and 
improving, and as he prospered in his undertakings he was at length enabled to 
add to his holdings a tract of one hundred and five acres, making in all one 
hundred and eighty-five acres, which constitutes the tract now in possession of 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 351 

the son, who is the subject of this sketch. The father made farming his life work 
and died on the old homestead in 1889. His wife survived five vears. departing 
this life in 1894. 

Peter K. Neste was reared to habits of industry and frugality on the home 
farm, assisting in the work of the fields during the spring and summer months, 
while in the winter seasons he pursued his education in the district school near 
his home. He remained with his father until after he had reached his majority, 
when in 1877, he went to Worth county, Iowa, and purchased one hundred and 
sixty acres of land. This land he improved and cultivated until 1892, when he 
rented the place and returned to the old homestead, having in the meantime pur- 
chased the latter. He has since given his attention to the cultivation of the place 
and has also made some improvements since taking possession, so that he now lias 
one of the model farms of Madison township. 

Mr. Neste has found a valuable helpmate in his wife, who in her maidenhood 
bore the name of Sarah M. Thorgeson, and to whom he was married in March, 
1874. Her parents, Torger and Rangel (Hoyne) Bakke, natives of Norway, 
came to Winneshiek county at an early day. They, however, upon their emigra- 
tion to the new world, spent a short time at Port Washington, Wisconsin, prior 
to their removal to Winneshiek county. Their last years, however, were spent 
in Winnebago county, Iowa, where both passed away, the father in 1899, and the 
mother in 1909. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Neste have been born twelve children but four of the 
number died in infancy and Lewis died in 1910. Those who survive are: Knute, 
under the parental roof ; Theodore, who is a minister, now located at Astoria. 
Oregon ; James, who makes his home in Minnesota ; Lawrence, at home ; Dina, 
the wife of Andrew Boe, of Winneshiek county ; Ida and Stena, also at home. 

Mr. Neste holds stock in the Farmers Creamery Company of Decorah, and 
also in the Farmers Hog Buying Company of this place. He is a republican in his 
political belief, while in religious faith he is a Lutheran. He has never held public 
office except in connection with the school board, having served as trustee and 
director of Madison township. He possesses many sterling traits of character, 
is honest in all his business transactions, and is highly respected in the locality 
where he has spent practically his entire life. 



ROBERT TOWNSEND. 

Robert Townsend, for many years prominently connected with agricultural 
interests in Winneshiek county, came to Burr Oak township in 1855 an ^ settled 
upon a tract of raw land. Afterward through hard work he transformed the 
property into rich and fertile fields from which he derived abundant harvests 
year by year, finally acquiring a comfortable fortune upon which to retire from 
active life in 1912. 

He was born in Starkey, Yates county. New York, January 3, 1834, and is a 
son of Hiram H. and Freelove Archer (Weeks) Townsend. The paternal grand- 
father, Richard Townsend, was a native of New England. The father of the 
subject of this review was born in Connecticut or New York, and the mother was 



352 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

a native of the latter state. In their family were the following children: Mrs, 
Zeruah Sillaman, who died in Missouri ; Emma Louisa, who passed away at the age 
of one year ; Mary Butters, a widow residing in Schuyler county. Xew York ; and 
Clark A., who died in that state. 

Robert Townsend was reared at home and resided in his native county until 
April, 1855, when he came west, settling in Winneshiek county, Iowa. He pur- 
chased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 22, Burr Oak town- 
ship, taking up his residence upon it when pioneer conditions prevailed every- 
where and the work of development was scarcely begun. The passing years 
brought him success, prominence and a substantial fortune and his farm became 
one of the best in this section of the state for lie was at all times practical in his 
methods and progressive in his ideas. He continued active in the development of 
his property until the fall of 191 2, when he rented the farm, still continuing, 
however, to reside upon the homestead. 

On the 9th of February, 1859, Mr. Townsend was united in marriage to Miss 
Jane McLaughlin, who was born in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, November 
23, 1837, and went to Illinois with her parents in 1855. In the following year the 
family removed to Winneshiek county and here Mrs. Townsend has since re- 
sided. She is a daughter of Joseph and Rachel (McGarey) McLaughlin, both 
of whom passed away in Iowa. They became the parents of eleven children, 
three of whom died in infancy and five of whom are still living. Mr. and Mrs. 
Townsend have two daughters. The older, Dora E.. is the widow of Sidney 
Boyd, of Canton. Minnesota, and has two children, Harry T. and Claudine Es- 
tella. The vounger, Lottie B., is the wife of Marcus Stockman, of Minneapolis, 
.Minnesota, and they have two children, Fred Parker and Rollin Perry. Mr. and 
Mrs. Townsend lost one child, Jessie L. F.. who died when she was one year old. 

Mr. Townsend has voted the republican ticket since he cast his ballot for Fre- 
mont. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is interested in 
the work of that organization. His life has been such as to give him high stand- 
ing in the eyes of the community and he is generally recognized as a man whose 
long years of earnest labor have not only contributed to his own prosperity but 
have also been a boon to the community at large. 



MARTIN A. MEYER. 



Martin A. Mever, a prosperous and successful stock buyer in Fort Atkinson, 
is a native son of Iowa, born in Fayette county, his parents being Henry and 
Mary ( Smith ) Mever. natives of Germany. The father died when the sub- 
ject of this review was only one year and a half old, leaving two children: a 
daughter, Mary, who died in a convent at Racine, Wisconsin, on the 22d of 
May. 1906; and Martin A. 

Martin A. Meyer was reared in Fayette county and acquired his educa- 
tion in the district schools. When he began his independent career he followed 
farming and merchandising for some years, conducting a profitable and well 
managed hardware store in Wesley, Iowa, for some time. He afterwards en- 
gaged in his present occupation as a cattle and horse buyer, feeder and shipper 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 353 

on an extensive scale and success has steadily rewarded his well directed labors, 
his business being today of large proportions and the trade which he controls 
important. He resides upon a fine farm of fifty acres just adjoining the corpo- 
ration limits and this he has provided with substantial improvements, erect- 
ing upon it a fine modern brick house, fine barns and outbuildings and install- 
ing the necessary labor-saving machinery. He is well known throughout the 
township as a progressive and practical farmer as well as a reliable and far- 
sighted business man and he holds the confidence and esteem of all who are in 
any way associated with him. 

IMr. Meyer was united in marriage to Miss Dora Meyer, a second cousin, 
a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Leiman) Meyer, natives of Germany. 
The father has passed away but the mother survives, making her home in Des 
Moines, Iowa. To Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Meyer have been born four chil- 
dren : Euphemia, whose birth occurred on the gth of October, 1903 ; Legories, 
born November 6. 1905; Dennis, born July 26, 1908; and Margaret, born on 
the 14th of February, 191 1. Mr. Meyer is a devout member of the Roman 
Catholic church and gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. He 
is, however, not active as an office seeker, preferring to concentrate his atten- 
tion upon his business affairs in which he is meeting with a gratifying and well 
deserved measure of success. 



JOHN C. KUBESH. 



John C. Kubesh is a public-spirited man, whose service has frequently been 
solicited in the interests of the public and who is numbered among the sub- 
stantial citizens of Calmar township, where he owns and operates a tract of 
land comprising one hundred and twenty-five acres. He is a native of this 
township, his natal day being April 26, 1863. His parents, Andrew and Jennie 
(Valenta) Kubesh, were both natives of Bohemia, and are now deceased. The 
father sought his fortune in the new world, emigrating to America in 1854 and 
choosing Winneshiek county as his destination. He and his wife were among 
the first settlers of Calmar township, where the father purchased land. He 
followed farming throughout the remainder of his life, passing away in Calmar 
township on the 27th of January, 1890. The mother survived nearly thirteen 
years, departing this life in December, 1902. 

John C. Kubesh was reared and educated in the community which has 
always been his place of abode and with the exception of three years spent in 
North Dakota in the threshing business, he has always made his home on the 
homestead farm. In 1884 he returned from the north and purchased the home 
farm of one hundred and twenty-five and a quarter acres, located on sections 
27 and 28, Calmar township and his time has since been largely devoted to the 
cultivation of his fields. On the place are found good buildings which are care- 
fully kept in repair and altogether the place presents a neat appearance. 

Mr. Kubesh chose as a companion and helpmate Miss Annie Vacha, whom 
he wedded June 9, 1885. Her parents, Albert and Magdelina Vacha, were like- 
wise natives of Bohemia. The father was a shoemaker by trade, being thus 



354 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

engaged in his native country as well as after coming to this country in 1870, 
when he made his home in Conover, Winneshiek county. He died there in 
1888, and his wife, surviving but a few vears, was called to the home bevond in 
1893. 

Mr. and Mrs. Kubesh have become the parents of five children: Louise; 
Edward; George, who departed this life in 1897; Bessie and Bertha. 

In politics Mr. Kubesh is a democrat and on that ticket has been elected to 
the office of township trustee, while he has also served as road supervisor and 
for many years has been a member of the school board. He is a communicant 
of the Catholic church and fraternally is connected with the Modern Wood- 
men of America. He has always been an industrious, hard-working man, and 
while busily engaged with his own private business affairs, safeguards each and 
every interest entrusted to him by the public. 



GILBERT H. VICK. 



When news of the death of Gilbert H. Vick was announced on the 20th of 
July, 1909, it caused deep regret among not only his relatives but his many 
friends, with whom he had lived and labored for more than four decades. He 
was a native of Norway, born August 14, 185 1, a son of Haldor and Mary 
(Folken) Vick, who were likewise natives of that country. The parents emi- 
grated with their family to the new world in [866, establishing their home in 
Winneshiek county, having at that time reached an advanced age. 

Gilbert H. Vick, whose name introduces this review, was a youth of fifteen 
years at the time of the emigration to Iowa, and owing to the advanced years 
of his parents, he and his brother began life independently. They engaged in 
farming and as time passed and they prospered in their undertakings, Gilbert 
Vick was enabled to purchase one hundred and sixty acres on section 33, Mad- 
ison township. He became very successful in his business affairs and was the 
owner of one of the most profitable farms of the county. He improved the 
place with substantial buildings and worked diligently from year to year in the 
cultivation of his fields, so that at his death he left to his family a splendid 
property. He passed away July 20, 1909, at a comparatively early age, being 
but fifty-eight years old at the time of his demise. 

It was on the 21st of March, 1888, that Mr. Vick was united in marriage to 
Miss Rachel Granum, a daughter of Andrew and Mary (Brager) Granum, both 
of whom were natives of Norway. The father was a farmer by occupation, 
spending his entire life in his native country, passing away in 1883. The mother 
still survives and is living there at the advanced age of eighty-five years. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Vick have been born nine children of whom eight survive, 
namely: Helen Marie, who is twenty-four years of age; Albert, the second of 
the name, who has just reached his majority ; Oscar, a youth of eighteen ; Hel- 
mer, who has reached the age of sixteen ; John Adolph, a lad of fourteen ; and 
Gerhard M., Richard L. and Laurence M.,aged respectively twelve, nine and five 
vears. Albert, first of the name, passed away September 20, 1890. The widow 




GILBERT H. VICK 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 357 

makes her home on the farm, her sons assisting her in the' management of the 
place. 

Mr. Vick gave his political support to the republican party and died in the 
faith of the Lutheran church. He was devoted to his family, counting no task 
too great if it added to the comfort and happiness of his wife and children. He 
possessed many sterling characteristics and was held in the highest esteem by all 
with whom he had business or social intercourse. 



ALFRED M. THUNE. 



Alfred M. Thune is one of the most extensive landowners and prosperous 
farmers of Pleasant township, his fine homestead on section 2 evidencing his 
many years of practical supervision and careful methods in its cultivation. He 
is one of Winneshiek county's native sons, born in Glenwood township, February 
4, 1872, his parents being Thomas and Sarah (Garden) Thune. They were born 
and reared in Norway and, coming to America in 1852, settled in Iowa, where 
their marriage occurred. The father turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, 
becoming prosperous and successful in this line of work and dying upon his farm 
in Glenwood township in 1874, when he was forty-five years of age. His wife 
survived him some years, dying February 25, 1894, at the age of sixty-two. In 
their family were eight children: Holver W., who makes his home in Ada, Min- 
nesota; Jane, the wife of Knut Graves, of Glenwood; Edwin, who resides in 
Decorah ; George, of Audubon, Minnesota ; Alary, who makes her home with her 
brother Oscar in Glenwood township; Alfred M., of this review; Oscar; and 
Andrew, who died at the age of four years. 

Alfred M. Thune has passed his entire life in Winneshiek county. He grew 
to manhood on his father's farm, learning in his childhood the best agricultural 
methods, and when he began his independent career naturally turned his attention 
to the occupation to which he had been reared. He has been numbered since that 
time among the township's most progressive and successful farmers and his 
holdings are today extensive, embracing one hundred and twenty acres in the 
home farm on section 2, Pleasant township, with one thousand acres near Bismarck, 
North Dakota, and forty acres of timber land in Waterloo township, Allamakee 
county, Iowa. Upon his homestead he has made extensive improvements, erect- 
ing barns and outbuildings and installing the necessary machinery and equipment 
and neglecting nothing which will add to the attractiveness or value of the place. 
The success which has come to him in the course of years has been the reward of 
industry, well directed activity and firm determination and it places him in the 
front ranks of progressive agriculturists in his native county. In addition to 
general farming Mr. Thune has for the past fifteen years been electrician for the 
Glenwood and Pleasant Township Telephone Companies and his services in this 
capacity have been capable and efficient. 

On the 23d of February, 1909, at St. Peter, Minnesota, Mr. Thune was united 
in marriage to Miss Mary Liquin, who was born in Pleasant township, February 26, 
1867. She is a daughter of Christian and Anna (Hovey) Liquin, natives of 
Norway, the former born December 22, 18 19, and the latter, August 24. 1831. The 



:!f>S PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

father came to America in 1853. but the mother arrived in this country some years 
previous, and in i860 they were married in Iowa, making their home upon a farm 
in Pleasant township, Winneshiek county, during the remainder of their lives. 
Christian Liquin died December 22, 1893, and was survived by his wife until 
February 4, 1903. The latter was very prominent in religious work and in com- 
pany with Mrs. Holver Garden and John W. Thune established the first Nor- 
wegian Methodist Episcopal church at St. Paul, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Liquin 
became the parents of two children: John O., who died at the age of four; and 
Mary, the wife of the subject of this review. 

Mrs. Thune was reared on her father's farm in Pleasant township and attended 
the public schools there and also the Decorah Institute, after which she taught 
school for a few terms. She then decided to secure a business education and for 
this purpose went to Burlington, Iowa, where she completed a business course. 
After the death of her parents she attended the Chicago Training School for 
Nurses for one year and then entered the Methodist Episcopal Hospital at Omaha, 
Nebraska, but was taken ill and was unable to complete the course there. Sub- 
sequently she made her home with an aunt in St. Peter, Minnesota, until her mar- 
riage and then returned to the old homestead in Pleasant township. 

Mr. Thune is a devout adherent of the Methodist Episcopal church and he 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He has become well and 
favorably known, commanding and holding the esteem and confidence of all who 
are associated with him. 



WILLIAM FUNKE. 



Among Winneshiek county's most progressive, able and successful native 
sons is numbered William Funke, who since 1871 has been engaged in farming 
in this part of Iowa, his activities in the development of two farms forming im- 
portant elements in the general agricultural development. He now owns two 
hundred and eighty acres of land lying partly in Military township and partly 
in Springfield and his well directed and practical labors have made it one of 
the finest properties in that locality. 

He was born in Winneshiek county, Washington township, on the 15th of 
August, 1855, and is a son of Clemence and Gertrude (Feller) Funke, natives 
of Germany. The father came to America in June, 1853, and after spending 
one year in St. Louis came to Winneshiek county, locating in Washington town- 
ship. He there remained until 18(15 and then moved to Military township, 
where he engaged in farming until his death, which occurred on the 6th of June, 
1884. His wife survives him and makes her home in Winneshiek county. To 
their union were born ten children: Henry, a farmer in the vicinity of Calmar; 
William, of this review ; Clemence A., who is connected with the Winneshiek 
county poor house; Mary, the wife of Frank Dessel, of California; Lizzie, 
who married Joseph Fox, of Norfolk, Nebraska; Herman, a resident of Cot- 
tonwood, Idaho; Annie, the wife of Louis Freich, of Ossian, Iowa; John, who 
makes his home in Cottonwood. Idaho ; Josephine, who married A. Holthouse, 
a farmer in Washington township ; and Gertrude, who has passed away. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 359 

William Funke acquired his education in the public schools of Washington 
and Military townships and in his childhood assisted with the operation of the 
homestead. At the age of twenty-one he purchased one hundred and fifty-two 
acres in Springfield township and for thirteen years thereafter developed and 
improved this property. When he sold it he bought one hundred and sixty 
acres on section 5, Military township, and to this has added from time to time 
until he now owns two hundred and eighty acres, one hundred and twenty of 
which are located in Springfield township and the remainder in Military town- 
ship. Upon this fine property Mr. Funke engages in general farming and stock- 
raising and success has steadily attended his well directed labors through the 
years, his interests being today profitable and important. In addition to his 
farming operations he is also a director of the Farmers Produce Company of 
Ossian and his ability is widely recognized in business circles. 

On the 4th of November, 1876, Mr. Funke married Miss Louise Bock, who 
died May 13. 1910. They became the parents of eleven children: Clemence J., 
of Dubuque, Iowa; Stephanie, the wife of Joseph J. Schissel, of Military town- 
ship ; George and Joseph, both of whom reside in Hutchinson county, South 
Dakota; and Tillie. Annie, William H., Mary, Leo, Adolph and Angeline, all 
at home. 

Mr. Funke is a stanch supporter of the democratic party and has held re- 
sponsible public positions, serving for twelve years as township trustee and for 
four years as a member of the school board. He is a member of the Catholic 
church, is affiliated with the Catholic Order of Foresters and is a man of ex- 
emplary moral character, respected in business circles and honored and esteemed 
wherever he is known. 



JESSE D. WEILER. 



[esse D. Weiler, operating a fine farm of two hundred and thirty-three acres 
on section 18, Washington township, and numbered among the most progres- 
sive and practical agriculturists of his locality, was born at Fort Atkinson, 
April 7, 1874. He is a son of Jacob and Nannie (Krumm) Weiler, natives of 
Germany, the father coming to America when he was a young man. He served 
in the Union army as a member of Company C, Thirty-eighth Iowa Volun- 
teer Infantry, remaining with his command during the entire period of the 
Civil war. He afterward engaged in farming in Winneshiek county and be- 
came well known in public affairs, holding various township offices. He is now 
living retired in Charles City and still owns the farm which his son operates. 
He and his wife became the parents of six children : Jerome, of Vermilion, 
Iowa; Tillie, the wife of J. Dunlap, of Charles City; Emma, who married E. 
B. Alcott, also of Charles City; Lloyd, who lives on the home farm; Jesse D., of 
this review ; and Lorina, who married Charles Smith, of Humboldt. 

lesse D. Weiler was reared upon his father's farm, dividing his time in his 
childhood between assisting in its operation and attending the district school. 
He has never left the homestead and now makes his home thereon, carrying on 
general farming and stock-raising upon its two hundred and thirty-three acres. 



360 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Everything about the place is in excellent condition, substantial improvements 
have been made and the entire property reflects in its neat and attractive ap- 
pearance the careful supervision and practical methods of its manager, who 
is a progressive and able agriculturist. 

On the 6th of August, 1892, Mr. Weiler married Miss Jessie Thompson and 
to their union has been born a daughter, Geraldine, whose birth occurred on the 
18th of May, 1910. Mr. Weiler is a republican in his political views. He is 
an energetic man and, having always been inspired by a spirit of progress, his 
success and prosperity are due entirely to his own efforts. 



JOHN A. OLSON. 



No farmer in Winneshiek county has achieved greater success in agricul- 
tural pursuits and stock-raising than John A. Olson, who has lived in this part 
of Iowa during practically all his life and is now cultivating a portion of 
the homestead upon which he was born on the 20th of February, 1858. He is a 
son of Asbjorn Olson and Guro (Nelson) Holkesvig, natives of Hardanger, 
Norway, where their marriage occurred. With their eldest child they came to 
America, settling first in Wisconsin, whence they moved to Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, and the father purchased land in Pleasant township. From time to time 
he added to his holdings, which finally aggregated two hundred and forty acres, 
and upon this farm the remainder of his life was passed, his death occurring 
when he was over eighty years of age. He and his wife became the parents of 
ten children : Rachel, the widow of H. P. Johnson and a resident of Decorah ; 
Nelson Holkesvig, a farmer in Canoe township ; Ole Olson, engaged in mer- 
chandising in Fargo, North Dakota ; Henry Holkesvig. who is employed by his 
twin brother Ole ; John A. Olson, of this review ; Aaron, of Groton, South 
Dakota ; Nellie, the wife of Frank Sampson, of Decorah ; Albert, of Crookston, 
Minnesota; Anton, who resides at Devils Lake, North Dakota; and Edward, who 
passed away at the age of nineteen years. As will be seen, some of these children 
use the name of Olson and the others that of Holkesvig. 

John A. Olson was reared at home and from his early childhood assisted 
with the work of the farm, becoming thoroughly familiar with the best agri- 
cultural methods and all the details connected with farm operation. He spent 
three years in Fargo, North Dakota, working in a general store, but with 
this exception has resided continuously in Pleasant township, where he is now 
numbered among the progressive and able agriculturists. He purchased from 
his father one hundred acres of the old homestead on section 21 and he has 
developed this along modern and progressive lines, making substantial improve- 
ments in the buildings and installing the necessary farm implements. He carries 
on general farming and stock-raising and both branches of his business have 
proven profitable and important under his able management. He is a stockholder 
in the Ice Cave Creamery Company of Decorah and in the Farmers Coopera- 
tive Company, and his ability is widely recognized in business circles. 

On the 8th of September, 1897, Mr. Olson was united in marriage to Miss 
Anna Serdahl, of Halland, Norway, who was born December 26, 1875. When 




MR. AND MRS. JOHN A. OLSON 



PAST AND PRESENT OE WINNESHIEK COUNTY 363 

she was nine months of age she was brought by her parents to America, settling 
immediately in Iowa, where she has since resided. She is the second in a family 
of fourteen children, all of whom are still living and all residents of Dakota 
with the exception of three of the daughters. Her parents are Nels and Anna 
Martha (Hulvarson) Serdahl, now residents of North Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. 
Olson have four children, Genevieve, Noretta, Idella and Olga. 

The parents are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church. Mr. Olson 
gives his political allegiance to the republican party and, although he is not 
active as an office seeker, he takes an intelligent interest in community develop- 
ment. His upright and honorable life has commanded the esteem and regard 
of all who come in contact with him and he has made many substantial contribu- 
tions to the agricultural development of the township where he was born. 



KNUT GRAVES. 



Knut Graves resides upon a farm of two hundred acres on section 18, Glen- 
wood township, and has here made his home from the age of five years, or for 
more than half a century. He was born June 9, 1856, on the ship Hebe, a sailing 
vessel, while his parents were en route from Norway to America. He is the son 
of Ole and Barbara Graves, who spent the first summer after their arrival in the 
new world in Wisconsin and then came to Winneshiek county, Iowa. The father 
was in limited financial circumstances when he crossed the Atlantic. He worked 
as a farm hand for two or three years and by diligence and economy secured the 
money that enabled him to purchase the farm upon which his son Knut now 
resides. Taking possession of that place he at once began its development and 
improvement, living thereon to the time of his death, which occurred in 1881 when 
he was seventy years of age. The mother afterward went to South Dakota and 
spent the last seven years of her life in that state in the home of a daughter, closing 
her eves in death in 1894, when she was seventy-five years of age. They were the 
parents of seven children: Lewis enlisted in 1862 as a member of Company K, 
Thirty-eight Iowa Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Civil war and died in a 
hospital at New Orleans in September, 1863, after defending the northern cause 
for about a year. Ole and Benny are residents of Minnehaha county, South 
Dakota, as is also Emma, the wife of I. E. Ellefson. Knut is next of the family. 
Martin is a resident of Minnehaha county, and John died in 1862 at the age of 
two years. 

Knut Graves was but five years of age when his parents removed to the farm 
on section 18, Glenwood township, which has since been his place of residence. 
He today owns two hundred acres of good land, including the old homestead of 
one hundred and twenty acres, which was known as the Hoiland farm, thus named 
after his grandfather, Ole Hoiland. The place is today a well improved property, 
its attractive appearance being greatly enhanced by the efforts of our subject, who 
has worked diligently and persistently year by year and has wrought many pleasing 
changes in the farm. He tills the fields in the cultivation of cereals best adapted 
to soil and climate, and he also raises considerable stock. Diligence and determina- 



364 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

tion are among his strong characteristics and have been leading features in win- 
ning for him his success. 

In 1884 Mr. Graves was united in marriage to Miss Jane Thune, who was born 
in Winneshiek county, January 9, i860, and has always resided within its borders. 
Her parents, Thomas and Sarah (Garden) Thune, were natives of Norway, came 
to this county in 1852, were married here and remained residents of the county 
until called to their final rest, the father devoting his entire life to general agri- 
cultural pursuits. He died in 1874 at the age of forty-five years and for two 
decades was survived by his wife, who passed away in 1894 at the age of sixty- 
one years. In their family were eight children : Holver, now living in Ada, Minne- 
sota ; Mrs. Graves; Edwin S., of Decorah ; George, a resident of Audubon, Minne- 
sota; Mary, living in Glenwood township; Alfred, of Pleasant township; Oscar, 
on the old home farm in Glenwood township ; and Andrew, who died at the age of 
five years. Mr. and Mrs. Graves have become the parents of seven children: 
Lawrence, who owns and cultivates a claim in South Dakota ; Beulah, the wife 
of Lyman Netteberg. of Lockhart, Minnesota ; Oscar, who is on a claim in Hard- 
ing county, South Dakota ; Sylvan, on a claim in Harding county. South 
Dakota; Melvin and Kenniston, at home; and Jesse, who died at the age of one 
year. 

Iowa w T as in the front rank of the states which gave strong support to the 
progressive party, showing that it has a class of citizens who are thinking men and 
who will no longer be bound by party ties — men who feel that in political affairs 
as well as in business continuous advancement should be made. Among this class 
is Mr. Graves, who, formerly voting with the republican party, is now a progress- 
ive. He has filled several local offices in acceptable manner, serving as township 
trustee, justice of the peace and school director. He is a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church of Decorah and his life has been in harmony with his pro- 
fession, showing him to be a man of sterling principles. 



PERRY KENYON. 



Perry Kenyon, a progressive and practical farmer of Hesper township, own- 
ing one hundred acres of the family homestead on section 2j, was born upon 
this farm March 8, 1864. He is a son of Oliver and Levina (Hazel) Kenyon, 
the former a native of New York state, born February 10. 1822. He there re- 
sided with his grandfather until he was ten years of age and then removed to 
Ohio, where his marriage occurred in 1845. His wife was born in Pennsyl- 
vania, August 11, 1824, and removed to Ohio with her parents. She came with 
her husband to Iowa in July, 1855, and they spent the remainder of their lives 
upon their farm in Winneshiek county, the father dying in October. 1898, and 
the mother August 29, 1908. They became the parents of eight children: Ann, 
the widow of Ira Reed, of Hesper township ; Newton, also a resident of Hes- 
per township; Henrv, of the same locality; Emma, who married Clark Freden- 
burg of Canoe township ; Sarah, who married James Smalley, of Hesper town- 
ship ; Amanda, who became the wife of Ed Watts ; Perry, of this review ; and 
Rosa, who married Nick Richert, of Hesper township. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 365 

Perry Kenyon was reared at home and by practical experience upon his 
father's farm learned the best methods of cultivating the fields and caring for 
the grain and stock, becoming before lie was of age a practical and able agri- 
culturist. He has never left the homestead, of which he now owns one hun- 
dred acres lying on section 27, Hesper township. Throughout the years he 
has steadily carried forward the work of improving and developing this prop- 
erty and is today the owner of a valuable, productive and well managed farm 
which everywhere reflects his careful supervision and untiring labor. 

On the 28th of June, 1897, Mr. Kenyon was united in marriage to Miss 
Christina Eggen, who was born in Canoe township, this county, July 29, 1877, 
a daughter of Ole and Margaret ( Reitan ) Eggen, natives of Norway. The 
father passed away in Canoe township August 8, 1905, at the age of sixty- 
nine and his widow still resides in that locality. Mr. and Mrs. Kenyon have 
one son, Oscar Perry. Mr. Kenyon is a man of good business ability, which has 
won for him substantial success. Moreover, he is actuated in all that he does by 
a most honorable and upright purpose, and possesses those characteristics which 
command confidence and the good-will of his fellow men, and which place him 
among the highly respected and valued native sons of Hesper township. 



JACOB E. GOSSMAN. 



Jacob E. Gossman, who since 1889 has owned and operated the Pine Tree 
Stock Farm on section 16, Burr Oak township, is a native son of that part of 
Winneshiek county, born October 7, i860. His parents, Anthony and Eliza- 
beth ( Snyder) Gossman, were born in Ohio, the former in Zanesville and the 
latter in Buckeye. The maternal great-grandfather of the subject of this re- 
view, Nicholas Snyder, was born in Germany and after coming to America 
served in the Revolutionary war, enlisting at the age of fourteen as a drummer 
boy and remaining in the army for seven years. On the paternal side also Mr. 
Gossman is a descendant of Revolutionary stock, his grandfather, Andrew Goss- 
man, having come from his native Germany to America in colonial times. He 
served in the Continental army, having previously received an excellent military 
training in the fatherland, and he afterward followed the profession of an 
architect in Muskingum county, Ohio, to which he went as a pioneer. He had 
nine children, six sons and three daughters, of whom the father of the sub- 
ject of this review and his brother Joseph are the only ones surviving. Anthony 
Gossman was born in Zanesville, Ohio, February 17, 1829, and his marriage 
occurred in that state about 1S56. He and his wife resided in Burr Oak town- 
ship, this county, until he retired from active life in 1895, when they removed 
to Canton, Minnesota They are still residents of that state, making their home 
at New Richland. He is well known in Winneshiek county and throughout this 
section of Iowa, as he was one of the first men to secure land from the gov- 
ernment in pioneer times. He and his wife became the parents of eight chil- 
dren: Jacob E., of this review; Alary E., who married John Ryan, of Canton, 
Minnesota ; Louis E., a graduate of the law department of the Michigan State 
University and now municipal judge at Crookston, Minnesota ; Leo A., who is 



366 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

a graduate of St. Joseph" s College of Dubuque and who spent six years in 
Rome, Italy, being now a priest in New Richland, Minnesota; Annie, the wife 
of Frank McKabe, of this township; Amy, who married William McKabe, of 
Prosper, Minnesota; John A., a resident of Burr Oak township; and William 
W., who is residing on the home farm. 

Jacob E. Gossman was reared at home amid the almost primitive condi- 
tions which existed in Burr Oak township during his childhood. He attended 
district school and was later a student in the Breckenridge Institute at Decorah, 
after which he attended St. Joseph's College in Dubuque. After laying aside 
his books he turned his attention to teaching, spending eight years at this occu- 
pation in Winneshiek county and in Fillmore county, Minnesota. He married 
in 1889 and in that year engaged in farming, buying the property in Burr Oak 
township upon which he has since resided. The tract comprises two hundred 
and eighty acres of valuable land lying on sections 16 and 17 and is known as 
the Pine Tree Stock Farm. Mr. Gossman concentrates his attention largely 
upon his stock-raising interests, breeding and raising high-grade stock of all 
kinds. In the course of years he has made substantial improvements upon his 
property which is now a completely equipped and valuable farm, evidencing in 
its excellent condition his practical methods and constant labor. 

In 1889 Mr. Gossman was united in marriage to Miss Mary Sutton, who 
was born in Zanesville, Ohio, in March 1864, and who resided there until her 
marriage. She is a daughter of Joseph and Anastasia (Matingly) Sutton, 
both of whom passed away in Ohio. Mrs. Gossman died February 4, 1912, 
leaving four children : Anastasia and Elizabeth, graduates of Winona Seminary ; 
Coletta, who is attending the same institution ; and Eeo, a graduate of St. 
Mary's College, at St. Alary 's, Kansas. Mrs. Gossman was of English ancestry, 
all of the members of her family having come to America with Lord Baltimore. 
Her brother, Dr. H. G. Sutton, is now state health officer of Ohio and has also 
charge of a large hospital. 

Mr. Gossman is a member of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally is 
connected with the Yeomen. A resident of Winneshiek county since his birth, 
he is well known here, and he and his family stand high in the esteem of the 
entire community. 



FRANK H. BROCKAMP. 

Frank H. Brockamp is carrying on general farming and stock-raising upon 
an excellent property lying on sections 20 and 21, Washington township. He 
was born in that township on the 26th of February, 1880. He is a son of 
George and Mary ( Bachel ) Brockamp, the former a native of Virginia and 
the latter of Winneshiek county. The father spent his active life engaged in 
farming in Washington township and is now retired, making his home in Os- 
sian. He took a prominent part in public affairs for a number of years i and was 
honored by his fellow citizens by election to various local offices, including that 
of trustee of Washington township. He and his wife became the parents of 
eight children : Frank H., of this review; Harry, who resides in Ossian ; Joseph, 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 367 

a resident of Ossian ; Louisa, who married J. B. Wagner, of Ossian ; William, 
Matilda, George N. and Emma, all of Ossian. 

Frank H. Brockamp was reared upon his father's farm and in his child- 
hood assisted with the work of its operation, becoming before he was of age an 
able and practical farmer. When he was twenty-six he rented from his father 
one hundred and sixty acres of land and after three or four years purchased 
the homestead, which he has since operated. He has made substantial improve- 
ments upon the property and in its development has met with that success which 
always rewards earnest and persistent effort when guided by sound judgment 
and keen discrimination. Although still a young man he has worked diligently 
and earnestly to achieve success and is today numbered among the progres- 
sive and prosperous agriculturists of his native township. 

Mr. Brockamp married, on the 23d of October, 1906, Miss Margaret Han- 
ken, a daughter of John Hanken, of whom more extended mention is made else- 
where in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Brockamp became the parents of four chil- 
dren: Mary Ann and Herbert, deceased; Julius and Ida. Mr. Lrockamp is a 
member of the Roman Catholic church. He is a stanch democrat in his poli- 
tical belief, and while not an office-seeker is interested in the cause of educa- 
tion and is doing able work in its promotion as president of the school board. 
The success which has attended his labors well entitles him to recognition among 
the progressive, enterprising and representative citizens of the community, and 
his many sterling traits of character have won him the warm friendship and 
kindly regard of those with whom he has come in contact. 



CHARLES J. ODDEN. 



The old Odden homestead of one hundred and eighty acres is included 
within the farm of two hundred and twenty-five acres which is now owned 
and operated by Charles J. Odden, presenting a neat and attractive appearance 
which indicates his careful supervision and progressive methods. The farm 
is situated on section 19, Glenwood township, and it was upon this place that he 
was born August 27, 1856, his parents being John and Torgun Odden, who 
were natives of Norw-ay. The year 1853 witnessed their arrival in the United 
States and after residing for a short time in Illinois they continued their west- 
ward journey to Winneshiek county, spending their remaining days from 1855 
upon the farm now occupied by their son Charles. The father, however, passed 
away at a comparatively early age — thirty-two — his death occurring in 1862. 
The mother long survived and died in 1906 at the age of seventy-eight years. 
He was a lifelong farmer and was an industrious, energetic man. His political 
support was given the republican party and both he and his wife were members 
of the Lutheran church. They had a family of four children : Anna, who is 
living with her brother Charles, the second in order of birth ; Julia, the de- 
ceased wife of Ole Flatland ; and John, whose home is in Madison township. 

At the usual age Charles J. Odden entered the public schools and when not 
busy with his text-books his attention was largely given to the work of the 
fields, so that he had broad, practical experience when he began farming on his 



368 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

own account. His place is appropriately named Evergreen Farm and is pleas- 
antly situated on sections 17, 19 and 20, Glen wood township, not far from 
Decorah. To the original homestead of one hundred and eighty acres he has 
added by purchase until now two hundred and twenty-five acres are included 
within the boundaries of the farm which is one of the ivell improved prop- 
erties of the district, the careful management bestowed upon it being indicated 
by its well tilled fields and the good grade of stock raised. In addition to his 
agricultural interests Mr. Odden is connected with the Decorah Ice Cave Cream- 
ery Company and is a director of the Decorah Farmers Cooperative Company. 

On the 25th of May, 1898, Mr. Odden was united in marriage to Miss 
Elise Hotvet. who was born in Glenwood township, January 12, 1877. a daugh- 
ter of Charles and Emma Hotvet, the former still a resident of Glenwood town- 
ship but the latter now deceased. Mr. and Mr. Odden have five children, John 
Cornelius, Albert Theodore, Elmer Charles Ingeman, Arthur Gerhard Benjamin 
and Harold Melvin. 

Mr. Odden voted with the republican party until the new progressive move- 
ment was instituted, since which time he has been allied therewith. He and 
his family belong to the Lutheran church and stand for progress and improve- 
ment along all the lines which affect the general interests of society. Steadily 
he has worked his way upward, improving the opportunities which have come 
to him, and his energy and persistency of purpose have made him not only a suc- 
cessful business man but also a valued citizen of the community. 



HARTVIG ENGBRETSON. 

A force in commercial progress in Decorah, Hartvig Engbretson, the fore- 
most farm implement dealer in this city and connected with many other impor- 
tant enterprises, is one of the most public-spirited men of his locality. Not only, 
however, is he entitled to credit for what he has done in promoting commercial 
expansion, but the nation's thanks are due him for the valuable service he has 
rendered in the Civil war, participating in many sanguine conflicts during that 
period. A native of Christiania, Norway, he was born May 4, 1845. a son °f 
Ole and Bertha (Fredrickson) Engbretson. Both were natives of Norway and 
the former a tailor by trade. They came to the United States in the spring of 
1864, locating in Decorah, of which they became pioneers. The father worked 
at his trade in this city until his death, the mother also having passed away in 
Decorah on February 1, 1894. 

Hartvig Engbretson attended the excellent schools of Christiania in the 
acquirement of his education and when eighteen years old came with his parents 
to the United States, making directly for Decorah, where they located. For 
seven weeks he worked there for a stone mason contractor and then enlisted 
in Company G, Ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving one year or until the 
close of the war. He saw much of active service, participating in the battles of 
Nashville, Kingston, North Carolina, and a number of sharp skirmishes during 
the campaign in Alabama. He was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, and 
received his honorable discharge from the service at Clinton, Iowa, whence he 




HARTVIG ENGBERTSOX 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 371 

returned to Decorah. Mr. Engbretson then took up blacksmithing, which occu- 
pation he followed until 1870, when he engaged in the farm machinery business. 
He opened a store in 1871 and is still actively engaged in the farm implement 
business, having the largest establishment of that kind in Decorah. In 1895 
Mr. Engbretson suffered an attack of paralysis but has completely overcome his 
incapacity, although he had to retire for a time. He has, however, long since 
become again actively connected with business affairs, giving close attention to 
his important and fast growing interests. As his means have increased he has 
become identified with other important institutions, being a stockholder and one 
of the organizers of the Decorah Opera House Company, and a shareholder in 
the Decorah Valve Company, the Winneshiek Hotel Company and also the 
Decorah Gas Company. Moreover, Mr. Engbretson owns very valuable realty, 
having built the Engbretson block on West Water street and in 1910 one of the 
finest residences in the city, for which he himself drew the plans. This latter 
place is so attractive and the plans Mr. Engbretson made worked out so well 
that they have been copied by others many times and to great advantage, giving 
high satisfaction. The result speaks well for Mr. Engbretson's ability along 
architectural lines and also the practicability of his ideas and the independence 
of his thought. 

In 1887 Mr. Engbretson was united in marriage to Miss Thea Peterson, a 
native of Norway, who for some years has been engaged in the millinery busi- 
ness in Decorah, having one of the finest stores in the city on West Water street. 
A woman of rare ability, she has made a commercial success well worthy of 
notice. Of this union were born three children : Ruby, at home, who is employed 
as bookkeeper in the Decorah State Bank and is a graduate of Valder College; 
Myrtle, a graduate of the same college and a stenographer and bookkeeper at 
Freeport, Illinois ; and Hartvig, a student in the Decorah high school who will 
graduate with the class of 1914. 

The interests of Decorah are always nearest to the heart of Mr. Engbretson, 
who in many ways has given evidence of his public-spiritedness, which has in- 
duced him to serve for three terms as councilman from the first ward in this 
city, doing valuable service in that connection. He is now serving from the 
fourth ward in his fourth term, continuing to uphold measures of progress and 
fathering bills that will prove of lasting benefit. Both he and his wife as well 
as the children are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church, in the work 
of which they take an active interest. A man of progressive policies in all 
other walks of life, he has also joined the political denomination which styles 
itself by that name, believing in its platform and expecting from the realization 
of its ideals better living conditions for all alike. As a member of the Grand 
Armv of the Republic Mr. Engbretson keeps in touch with the boys in blue who 
in the days of '61 carried to victory the flag of the Union. He is a member of 
Colonel Hughes Post, No. 138, of Decorah, and has served as vice commander 
of the post. Fraternally he is a member of Decorah Lodge, No. 443, B. P. O. E. 
Referring back to his political life, it may be stated that he served for one term 
as chairman of the county republican central committee when he was still in the 
ranks of that party, this fact giving an indication of the influence which he held 
in the local ranks of the organization. Mr. Engbretson has attained a success 
which hone can begrudge him, for it has been entirely self-won, without favoring 

vol. n— 1 7 



372 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

conditions, without outside help, without being helped by foreign means. A man 
born in a foreign country, he came here when eighteen years of age, retaining 
the sturdy characteristics of his Norseland race but quickly acquiring the splen- 
did qualities of American citizenship and accommodating himself to the ideals 
of American manhood. His career is a worthy example of what can be 
achieved when industry and energy lead the way and is proof of the fact that 
prosperity is attainable for all and success but ambition's answer. 



ERNEST A. GODDARD. 

Ernest A. Goddard, one of the most active and progressive farmers of 
Washington township, was born on the farm he now operates October 26, 1874, 
a son of Harrison J. and Rhoda (Horton) Goddard, of whom further mention 
is made elsewhere in this work. He acquired his education in the district 
schools of his native community and from his childhood assisted with the work 
of the homestead, becoming in this way thoroughly familiar with the best agri- 
cultural methods and proving himself before he was of age a progressive and 
able farmer. At the age of twenty-two he rented the homestead from his father 
and has since carried forward the work of its improvement and development, 
success steadily attending his well directed labors. In 1910 he purchased eighty- 
five acres of the farm and upon this has erected a line two-story modern home. 
The entire property is well improved with barns and outbuildings and equipped 
with the necessary machinery, and upon it Mr. Goddard carries on general 
farming and stock-raising, both branches of his activities proving important and 
profitable under his able management. He makes a specialty of breeding and 
raising high-grade hogs and his animals command a ready sale and a high price 
upon the market. 

On the 4th of March, 1896, Mr. Goddard was united in marriage to Miss 
Zelma Jones, and to their union have been born three children. Hazel, Guy and 
Esther. Mr. Goddard gives his political allegiance to the republican party, 
taking an active interest in everything relating to the growth, development and 
progress of his township. A resident of this part of Iowa from his birth to the 
present time, he has become widely and favorably known and his many excel- 
lent qualities of mind and character have commanded for him the esteem, con- 
fidence and respect of all who come in contact with him. 



GEORGE TODD. 



The pioneer history of Winneshiek county contains the record of no more 
worthy and honored citizen than George Todd, who settled upon a farm in 
Fremont township in 1857 and for forty-four years thereafter gave his undi- 
vided attention to agricultural pursuits, making substantial contributions to gen- 
eral growth and development. His death occurred upon his farm in January, 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 373 

1 901, and was widely and deeply regretted, his genuine personal worth and 
sterling qualities of character having greatly endeared him to many friends. 

Mr. Todd was born in Ireland in 1828, a son of Joseph and Martha ( Gil- 
len) Todd. The father died in Ireland in 1835 and the mother afterward came 
to America, making her home with her children until her death. Mr. Todd ac- 
quired his education in the public schools of his native country and when he- 
was a young man emigrated with his brothers to the United States. He lo- 
cated at Elgin, Illinois, in 1851, and although he had learned the weaver's trade 
in Ireland, worked at the mason's and plasterer's trade in Elgin, continuing 
thus until 1856. In that year he moved to Toledo, Tama county, Iowa, follow- 
ing his former occupation for nine months, after which he returned to Elgin. 
After six months in that city he removed to Winneshiek county, where he took 
up a government claim of eighty acres in Fremont township. This he cleared 
and improved, later adding to it twenty acres which he purchased, and upon this 
fine property he engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years, gaining an in- 
dividual success which was important as a factor in general advancement. He 
became well known in agricultural circles as a progressive, substantial and able 
farmer and his death, which occurred in January, 1901, was felt as a distinct 
loss to agricultural interests. 

Mr. Todd married in Decorah. in 1858, Miss Harriet Richards and they be- 
came the parents of two children: Emma, who died in 1875; and Charley, also 
deceased. Mr. Todd's wife survived him eight years, dying September 5, 1909. 

They were people of exemplary character and highly esteemed and respected 
in the community where they had so long made their home. Mrs. Todd was a 
member of the Christian church. Mr. Todd gave his political allegiance to the 
republican party. He was interested in public affairs, for he had watched Win- 
neshiek county develop from a frontier wilderness into a prosperous and wealthy 
farming community, and his own labors had been a cooperant factor in promot- 
ing the change. His long residence in this part of the state made him very widely 
known and his integrity and honesty gained him the good-will and confidence 
of all with whom he had business or social relations. 



ANTONE F. GARDNER. 

Although nineteen years have passed since Antone F. Gardner died in his 
home in Festina, there are many who yet remember his many sterling qualities 
of mind and character and who cherish the memory of his honorable and up- 
right life. He was a native of France, born on the 2d of February, 1834, and he 
was sixty years of age at the time of his death. He spent his childhood in his 
native country and in 1844 came to America, locating first in New Orleans where 
he learned the coopering trade, afterwards working at it in that city until 1856. 
In that year he took up his residence in Old Mission, Winneshiek county, among 
the early settlers in that section and there for many years he followed his trade, 
making butter tubs and barrels. He became well and favorably known in that 
part of the county and witnessed a great deal of its early development, assisting 
in the work of progress and growth to the extent of his ability and his oppor- 



;;74 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

tunities. Eventually, however, he moved into Festina and in that city estab- 
lished a brewery which under his able management became one of the largest 
industries of its kind in this section of the state, each year witnessing its further 
expansion, development and growth. The victory of the prohibition party in 
Iowa spelled almost complete ruin for Mr. Gardner who had invested his entire 
fortune in his enterprise, in the failure of which he lost over thirty thousand dol- 
lars. He did not allow this disaster to darken his life, however, but to the end 
of his days remained a highly honored, esteemed and respected resident of 
Festina, where his death occurred on the 6th of March. 1894. 

Antone F. Gardner married Miss Mary .1 lanse, a daughter of Frank A. and 
Catherine (Debolt) Hanse. natives of France who spent their entire lives in that 
country and there died. Mrs. Gardner crossed the ocean in a sailing vessel in 
company with her brother when she was twenty-one years of age and landed 
at New Orleans, Louisiana, where three months later her marriage occurred. 
With her husband she came as a pioneer into Iowa, braving the hardships and 
difficulties of frontier life, and she has many interesting memories of those earlv 
times when the Indians were plentiful around Old Mission and wild game 
abounded in the forests. .Mr. and Mrs. Gardner had no children of their own 
but adopted a daughter. Dora, now the wife of Martin A. Meyer of Fort Atkin- 
son. 

Living in Winneshiek county from early pioneer times, and identifying him- 
self closely with the general interests of this part of the state, Antone F. Gardner 
became widely and favorably known, his important accomplishments winning him 
prominence in the field of business and his many sterling qualities of mind and 
character gaining the esteem, respect and confidence of all who were in any way 
associated with him. At all times he took an intelligent and active interest in 
community affairs, supporting with his cooperation many measures and projects 
of advancement and growth and thus it was that a life of genuine and unosten- 
tatious usefulness was brought to a close when on the 6th of March, 1894, he- 
passed away. 



ALBERT H. FRETTHEM. 

Albert H. Fretthem, one of the active and progressive farmers of Decorah 
township, is a native of Iowa, born in Allamakee county in March, 1858. His 
parents. Ole and Anna ( Halvorson ) Fretthem, were born in Norway and came 
to America in 1852, locating in Wisconsin, where they remained for three years. 
At the end of that time they removed to Allamakee county, Iowa, and there the 
father purchased and improved a fine farm, selling it finally and removing to 
Minnesota. From that state the family came to Winneshiek county and the 
father purchased land in Madison township, which he cultivated for the re- 
mainder of his life, passing away in September. 1892. His wife died Novem- 
ber 9, 191 1. 

Albert H. Fretthem was only eight years of age when his parents came to this 
countv and he acquired his education in the district schools of Madison town- 
ship. At an early age he began assisting with the work of the homestead and 
before he had attained his majority was an able and progressive agriculturist. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 375 

Eventually lie rented the home farm and operated it for six years, at the end of 
which time he bought one hundred and fifty acres on section 29, Decorah town- 
ship, turning his attention to its improvement and development. His well di- 
rected efforts have brought him a substantial degree of success and he is now 
in control of one of the finest properties in this section of the state. He has 
recently sold seventy acres of his holdings and now owns seventy-nine acres, all 
under a high state of cultivation, and everything about the place is in excellent 
condition. Substantial improvements have been made and buildings erected, 
and the property today reflects the owner's careful supervision and practical 
methods. 

On the 13th of November, 1895, Mr. Fretthem was united in marriage to 
Miss Emma Theilich, a daughter of John and Lydia (Helm) Theilich, the for- 
mer a native of Germany and the latter of Canada. Her father came as a pio- 
neer to Winneshiek county and took up as a government claim the land now 
owned by the subject of this review. He died upon this property, January 1. 
I90i,and was survived by his wife until 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Fretthem have an 
adopted son, Virgil, who is fourteen years of age. 

Mr. Fretthem is a member of the Eutheran church and he gives his political 
allegiance to the republican party, taking an active and helpful interest in pub- 
lic affairs. His life has been such as to give him high standing in the eyes of the 
community and he is generally recognized as a man whose earnest labor in this 
township have not only contributed to his own prosperity but have also been a 
benefit to the community at large. 



KNUT E. HAUGEN. 



In the middle of the nineteenth century Winneshiek county and this section 
of Iowa was colonized by Norwegian settlers and their descendants in the second 
generation are now taking an active part in the further development and up- 
building of this district. Possessing the sterling characteristics of his Norwegian 
forefathers Knut E. Haugen occupies a place among the representative farm- 
ers of the community, his home place comprising the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 32, Glenwood township. 

He was born upon this farm, July 15, 1864, his parents being Andrew G. 
and Guri (Estrem) Haugen, both of whom were natives of Norway, whence 
both came to America about 1850. Following their marriage they took up their 
abode in Glenwood township, Winneshiek county, Iowa, upon the farm which 
is now the home of their son Knut and which continued to be their place of 
residence. They were young people when they crossed the Atlantic and were 
married in this county, where the mother still resides. The father, however, 
passed away in 1904 at the age of eighty years. In their family were seven chil- 
dren : Mary, the wife of the Rev. G. H. P>akken, of Wautoma, Wisconsin; Gil- 
bert, residing in Decorah ; Knut E. ; Christopher, who died at the age of twenty- 
seven years ; Andrew, who passed away at the age of forty years, leaving a family ; 
Lena, the wife of Louis Skow, of Soldier, Towa ; and Edwin, of Sioux Rapids. 



376 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for 
Knut E. Haugen in his boyhood and youth. He spent his childhood on the 
home farm and in fact has always remained upon the old home place. His educa- 
tion was obtained in the public schools and when not busy with his text-books 
his time was occupied with the work of the fields. He has never cared to change 
his occupation and is now successfully engaged in general agricultural pursuits, 
living on section 32, Glenwood township, where he owns one hundred and sixty 
acres of good land and in addition he has a tract of twenty acres of timber land 
in this township. He follows general farming and stock-raising and he has a 
well improved place, there being a good dwelling and substantial barns and out- 
buildings, together with well kept fences and the latest improved machinery. 
The stock which he handles is also of good grades and everything about the place 
indicates him to be a progressive farmer. 

On the 4th of March, 1909. Mr. Haugen was married to Miss Bertha Tinjum, 
who was born in Norway but was reared in this country, being brought to 
America by her widowed mother. They now have one child, Gladys Irene. 

The parents are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church and their well 
spent lives have won them high regard. In politics Mr. Haugen is a republican 
but not an office seeker. He served on the township school board and the cause 
of education finds in him a stalwart champion. Indeed he is interested in every- 
thing pertaining to the welfare and progress of his community. 



KNUTE H. LARSON. 



Although a quarter of a century has passed since Knute H. Larson died upon 
his farm in Winneshiek county, there are many in this part of Iowa who still 
remember his genuine personal worth, his sterling integrity and the substantial 
contributions which he made to the agricultural development of this section of 
the state. He was numbered among the honored and respected pioneer citizens 
and for thirty-eight years he cultivated his fine farm in Military township, becom- 
ing one of the leading figures in the promotion of the progress and advance- 
ment of the community. 

Mr. Larson was a native of Norway, born in January, 1822, and he spent his 
boyhood and earl}- youth in that country, crossing the Atlantic to America in 
184c). He settled first in Wisconsin and there remained for one year, at the 
end of which time he removed to Iowa, settling in Winneshiek county in pioneer 
times. He purchased land which he sold at the end of a year, buying afterward 
another tract of one hundred and sixty acres on section 3, Military township, 
to which he later added another one hundred and sixty on section 2. With 
characteristic energy he began the improvement and development of this property, 
tilling the fields, and erecting the necessary buildings, which included the fine 
residence that he made his home for a number of years. General farming and 
stock-raising engaged practically all of his attention, and his practical methods 
and unremitting industry brought him well deserved success, both branches of 
his activities becoming important and profitable. 




KXUTE H. LARSOX 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 379 

Mr. Larson married Miss Matilda Freeburg, a native of Sweden and a 
daughter of John and Lena (Malburg) Freeburg, also born in that country. 
Mr. and Mrs. Larson became the parents of seven children : Laura, who lives 
at home; John F., who is operating the homestead for his mother; L. Kent, 
assisting with the work of the home farm; Anton L., who also lives at home; 
Gustave, who is associated with the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad; Martin and 
Henry, who live at home. Since Mr. Larson's death, the widow has added 
eighty acres to the home farm and has supervised its management, ably carrying 
forward with the help of her sons the work which her husband began. 

Mr. Larson was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and was a 
republican in his political beliefs. His influence was always on the side of 
progress and improvement and it was found that at all times his business activ- 
ities balanced up with truth and justice. 



O. L. WENNES. 



A mile south of the state line, on section 17, Highland township, is the home 
of O. L. Wennes. It was here that he was born July 17, 1856, in a little log cabin 
fourteen by sixteen feet, which was built by his father. His parents, Peter L. 
and Tarine (Gjerstad) Wennes, were both natives of Norway, the former born 
June 11. 1819, and the latter on the 27th of May, 1822. The father arrived in 
this country in 1850 and the mother in 1852. Both made their way to Wisconsin 
and in that state they were married in the latter year. They began their domestic 
life there, but in 1854 came to Winneshiek county, settling on the farm which is 
now the old Wennes homestead. They were in limited financial circumstances 
and for two years lived in a dugout but afterward built a cabin, which was later 
replaced by a modern frame residence. In connection with a relative Mr. 
Wennes purchased eighty acres of land and later became sole owner of that tract. 
He also secured government land later and at the time of his death was the 
owner of one hundred and thirty acres, constituting a rich and well developed 
property. His wife died May 2~j, 1901, and he survived her for little more than 
a year and a half, passing away December 15, 1902. He was a quiet, industrious 
man, living at peace with his neighbors, possessed a genial disposition and won 
friends wherever he went. The Lutheran church numbered him among its active, 
consistent and faithful members. The family numbered but two children, the 
younger being Ellen Johanna, now the wife of John Halseth, of Mabel, Minnesota. 

O. L. Wennes has resided at the place of his birth throughout his entire life 
and early became familiar with the best methods of developing the home place and 
carrying on the work of the farm. In 1886 he purchased the old homestead 
from his father and has added to it until he is now the owner of an extensive 
tract of three hundred and ninety-five acres, covering parts of sections 8, 14, 
15 and 17, Highland township, his residence being on section 17. All of the 
present substantial buildings upon the place were erected oy Mr. Wennes and 
his farm is exceptionally well improved, showing all the accessories and con- 
veniences of the model farm property of the twentieth century. In the midst of 
the place stands a large, fine residence, erected in 1909, and this is surrounded 



:iSO PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

with a fine grove of sugar maples. The place is known as the Highland Stock 
Farm, for hereon he raises a high grade of stock for feeding purposes and 
annually sells a large number. He has some full blooded cattle and hogs. He 
also raises many horses, keeping seven brood mares. 

\\ hile known as one of the leading, enterprising and successful farmers and 
stock-raisers of the county, Mr. Wennes also has other important business con- 
nections. He has been a director of the National Bank of Decorah since its 
organization and he has been one of the directors of the Norwegian Mutual 
Fire Insurance Company of Winneshiek county for fourteen years. He is like- 
wise a stockholder in the Cooperative Creamery of Highland township and he 
is identified with various interests of a public or semi-public character. He has 
served as a director of the Winneshiek County Agricultural Society and for 
twenty years has been school treasurer of his township. He was count}- super- 
visor at the time the new courthouse was built and acted as chairman of the 
building committee. His name is on the cornerstone, together with the names 
of four other supervisors. In politics he has been a lifelong republican, yet was 
in sympathy with the progressive movement at the last election. He has held 
nearly all of the township offices and his service as county supervisor covers six 
years, with two years spent as chairman of the board. He has also been a mem- 
ber of the republican county central committee and has labored earnestlv and 
effectively to promote the interests of his party. 

On the 15th of May, 1889. Mr. Wennes was married to Miss Caroline Larson, 
who was born in Highland township. February 11, 1805, a daughter of Hon. 
Xels and Julia Larson, residents of Highland township. Mr. and Mrs. Wennes 
have seven living children, Peter. Jennie, Edgar. Xels, Carl, Theodore and Tilda, 
and they lost two sons in infancy. Mr. Wennes and his family are members of 
the Lutheran church and are earnest supporters of all that tends to promote the 
moral progress of the community. He is very energetic, persevering and reliable 
and his substantial qualities have won him the high and enviable position which 
he occupies in the regard of friends, neighbors and business associates. 



TOHN N. 1ST AD. 



John X. Istad, one of the prosperous and progressive agriculturists of Pleas- 
ant township, owns and operates on section 26 two hundred and ninety acres of 
fine land whereon he has resided since he was two years of age. He was born in 
Boone county, Illinois, on the 22d of March, 1858, and is a son of Xels and 
Betsy Istad, natives of Norway, where their marriage occurred. In 1850 they 
located in Illinois and in that state made their home for ten years, eventually 
removing to Winneshiek county, Iowa, locating on the farm which the subject 
■ if this review now owns. The father continued to develop and improve this 
property, making it extremely valuable and well cultivated and taking his place 
among the prosperous and progressive farmers of his vicinity. He died upon 
his farm at the age of seventy-four years, having survived his wife some time, 
her death occurring when she was seventy years of age. In their family were 
four children. Annie was twice married. She first wedded L. M. Longland and 



PAST AND PRESENT OP WINNESHIEK COUNTY 381 

after his death was united in marriage to Sorn Mostad. She died leaving two 
sons by her first marriage and five daughters by her second. John X. is the 
subject of this review. Edward makes his home in Decorah. Louise, the young- 
est member of the family, is a resident of Seattle, Washington. 

John N. Istad grew to manhood on the homestead and before he was out of 
his teens had mastered all the details of its operation and was a practical and 
able agriculturist. This property he now owns and it embraces two hundred and 
ninety acres of fine farming land on section j(>, Pleasant township, all the improve- 
ments of which were made either by his father or himself. Here he carries on 
general farming and stock-raising and under his able management both depart- 
ments of activity have been profitable and important. 

On the 15th of December, 1883, Mr. Istad was united in marriage to Miss 
Mary Halverson, who was born in Allamakee county, Iowa, September 4, i860. 
She is a daughter of John and Inga Halverson, natives of Norway, who with 
their two eldest sons came to the United States about 1850, settling in this part 
of the state, where they continued to reside for many years, both dying in 
Allamakee county, In their family were nine children, six of whom still survive. 
Mr. and Mrs. Istad became the parents of eight children: Nora, the wife of 
Theodore Juve; John, who passed away at the age of twenty-three years; Emelia, 
the wife of Alfred Blugen, of Pleasant township; and Ida. Arthur. Delia, Etta 
and Mabel, all of whom live at home. 

Mr. Istad is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and guides his 
honorable and upright life by the principles in which he believes. The farm which 
he now owns is a visible evidence of his life of thrift and business enterprise and 
his success places him in the front ranks of the able and progressive agriculturists 
in his township. 



WILLIAM WALTER GOSSMAN. 

William Walter Gossman is the owner of one hundred and forty acres of 
finely improved land on sections 7 and 8, Burr Oak township. He was born on 
the farm which is still his home, July 30, 1876. He is the youngest in a family 
of eight children, whose parents are Anthony and Elizabeth (Snyder) Goss- 
man, and who are mentioned more at length in connection with the sketch of Jacob 
E. Gossman on another page of this work. 

William Walter Gossman was early trained to habits of industry and economy 
on the home farm, and his educational training was received in the district schools 
near his home. He chose as his life work the occupation to which he was reared 
and is today the owner of the homestead place, consisting of one hundred and 
forty acres, located on sections 7 and 8, Burr Oak township. This place has been 
improved by Mr. Gossman and his father and on it are found substantial buildings 
for the shelter of grain and stock, while the fields are fertile and yield abundant 
harvests each year owing to the care and labor he has bestowed upon them. He 
is here engaged in general farming and stock-raising and both branches of his 
business are bringing him a good annual income. 



382 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Mr. Gossman was married March 28, 191 2, to Miss Rosa Emma Gresbrink, 
who was born in Faribault, Minnesota, January 21, 1890, a daughter of Alphonse 
and Gertrude (Simmons) Gresbrink. The father is now deceased and his widow 
married a second time, her union being with A. A. Truman. They now reside in 
Canton, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Gossman have a daughter, Irene Agnes, born 
May 6. 1913. 

Mr. Gossman gives his political support to the democratic party, and he is 
a communicant of the Catholic church. He and his estimable wife have a wide 
circle of friends and the hospitality of their home is enjoyed by all. 



JOHN W. BANNING. 



Through well directed business activity and enterprise John W. Banning 
has gained recognition as one of the prosperous farmers of Winneshiek county. 
He owns one hundred and fifty acres of highly improved land in Bloomfield 
township and since 1849 has lived in the county, his labors during the latter 
part of that period contributing not only to his own prosperity but proving 
effective factors in advancing the general welfare. Mr. Banning was born in 
Ohio, March 21, 1843, ar, d is a son of Phineas and Mahala (Blue) Banning, 
also natives of that state. The parents came to Winneshiek county in June. 
[849, making the journey overland with wagons. After locating in Bloomfield 
township the father traded an old rifle and his wagon for a farm of two hundred 
and forty acres which had been taken up as a government claim by an old 
Frenchman and upon this property he continued to reside until his death. His 
wife has also passed away. To their union were born eleven children : John 
W. of this review ; Abraham, who resides in North Dakota ; Nathaniel, who 
makes his home in South Dakota; Elizabeth and David, deceased; Susan, the 
widow of Frank Allen, of South Dakota ; Peter, a resident of Fayette county, 
Iowa ; Nancy, who married Thomas Logston, of Decorah ; Mary, the wife of 
T. Vance, of Cresco ; Michael, also of Cresco ; and David, deceased. 

Tohn W. Banning was only six years of age when he moved with his parents 
to Winneshiek county and in Bloomfield township he grew to manhood, aiding 
his father with the operation of the homestead and learning by practical expe- 
rience everything relating to the care and development of the farm. When he 
was twentv-three he married and at that time purchased one hundred acres on 
section 17, Bloomfield township, turning his attention to its cultivation. He 
worked resolutelv and diligently to achieve success and in the course of time 
was enabled to buy more land until he has become the owner of one hundred 
and fifty acres lying on sections 16 and 17. Upon this he has made substantial 
improvements and carries on general farming, his gratifying success rewarding 
many years of earnest and persistent labor. 

In 1866 Mr. Banning was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Mahala 
Oxley and they became the parents of eight children: Addie, the eldest, has 
passed away. Alma is the wife of Fred Winn, of Ossian. Herbert is a 
resident of South Dakota, is married and has three children, Lilia, Lloyd and 
Orval. Grace married H. Webster, of Ossian. Lulu makes her home in 



o 

=1 
3 



Q 







PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 385 

Ossian. Neva first married W. Draves, who died, and she is now Mrs. Chas. S. 
Dewey, the wife of a contractor of West Union, Iowa. She has one child by her 
first marriage, Wayne Harris, born September u, 1907. Calla is the wife of 
George Wilchen, of Mason City, and has a daughter, Rosebud. Vernon, who 
completes the family, resides at home. 

Mr. Banning is a member of the United Brethren church and politically 
affiliates with the republican party, giving his aid and cooperation always to 
progressive public movements. His life has been one of well directed activity 
and intelligent effort, resulting in the attainment of a gratifying measure of 
success, and wherever he is known he is highly esteemed and respected by 
reason of his genuine personal worth and excellent qualities of character. 



JOSEPH WHALEN. 



A highly improved tract of four hundred acres in Burr Oak township, known 
as the Silver Creek Stock Farm, is owned and conducted by Joseph Whalen. He 
is a native of County Waterford, Ireland, born February 15, 1844, a son of 
Morris and Johanna (Colbert) Whalen, who were likewise natives of County 
Waterford. In 1849 the father emigrated to America with his family, at that 
time consisting of a wife and three children. Their first location was in Dutchess 
county, New York, where they spent three years. They then journeyed to the 
middle west, spending four years in Chicago, while in 1856 a permanent home was 
established on a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, located in Fremont town- 
ship, Winneshiek county. The father purchased this land from the government 
and in due course of time broke the sod and prepared the land for cultivation, 
divided his acreage into fields of convenient size, erected substantial buildings and 
made it one of the well improved farms of this section of the state. Here the 
father engaged in farming throughout his remaining days. He passed away 
April 22, 1869, at the age of fifty-three years, while his wife lived to an advanced 
age, departing this life in 1895, when seventy-eight years of age. In their family 
were six children, as follows : Joseph, of this review ; Thomas, who resides in 
Fremont township ; Catharine, the deceased wife of Martin Ryan ; Morris, who 
died in September, 1906, leaving a widow and thirteen children; Mary Ann, the 
widow of John Knox of Burr Oak; and Nell, who became the wife of Thomas 
Flynn, and passed away in Lake county, South Dakota. 

Joseph Whalen was a little lad of five years when brought by his parents to 
the new world, and he was a lad of twelve when the removal was made to Winne- 
shiek county. He was trained to work on the home farm and remained under 
the parental roof until he had reached the age of twenty-two years, but in the 
meantime he farmed on his own account. In 1866 he purchased a quarter section 
of land on the state line, which constitutes a part of his present holdings and he 
has since added to his acreage until he now owns four hundred acres on sections 
7 and 18, Burr Oak township. This land with the exception of some that is 
devoted to pasturage, is all under cultivation and has been improved with sub- 
stantial farm buildings for the shelter of grain and stock and is one of the valuable 
farm properties of his section of Winneshiek county. In addition to general 



.'586 PAST AND PRESENT OF WIXXESHIEK COUNTY 

farming, Mr. Whalen is also engaged in breeding and raising stock. In 1886 
he imported five Percheron stallions, one Percheron mare, one Clydesdale stallion, 
and one Clydesdale mare, and has since been engaged in breeding stock. In 
1892 he purchased shorthorn cattle and also breeds and raises Poland China and 
Jersey red hogs. He handles only the best grades of stock and takes a deep, 
interest in his stock-raising. He is a man of sound business judgment and is 
meeting with success in both branches of his work. 

Mr. Whalen was married in 1878 to Jane Daugherty, who was born in Howard 
cosnty, Iowa, in i860. Unto this union were born ten children: Morris, of 
Cresco, Iowa; Patrick, of Granada, Minnesota; Mary, the wife of Frank Brady, 
also of Granada; Loretta, the wife of John Cashman. also of that place; Joe of 
FJutte county. South Dakota; Alice, the wife of William Gaul, a resident of Burr 
Oak township ; Urban, also of Butte county; Lenus and Paul, both at home; and 
Agnes. The wife and mother departed this life in 1898, and in 1900 Mr. Whalen 
was married a second time, this union being with Miss Maggie Brady, a native 
of Illinois. 

In his political belief Air. Whalen is a democrat, and he is a communicant of 
St. Agnes Catholic church at Plymouth Rock. He has led a busy, active and 
useful life and his sound business judgment and well directed labors have brought 
him well merited success, so that today he is numbered among the well-to-do and 
substantial citizens of Winneshiek county. 



R( iBERT HEUSER. 



Robert Heuser is extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits in Sumner and 
Calmar townships, holding title not only to the home place but also to a valuable 
farm of three hundred and sixty acres which he purchased and to the cultivation 
of both farms he gives his entire attention. His land is highly improved with 
substantial buildings, including a comfortable residence. All modern equipments 
can be found upon the places and Mr. Heuser ever follows the best methods of 
farming and has attained to prosperity as the years have passed. 

A native of Sumner township. Winneshiek county, he was born September 14, 
1863, and is a son of Godfrey and Fredericka ( Fogel ) Heuser, both natives of 
Switzerland, who in 1856 came to Winneshiek county, being among its early 
pioneers. The father located near Fort Atkinson and there followed agricul- 
tural pursuits for many years, his labors resulting in a comfortable competence. 
Both he and his wife are now living in Decorah. To them were born six chil- 
dren: Robert, of this review; Fredericka, the wife of Albert Rordorf. of Sum- 
ner township ; Frederick, of Spillville ; Maggie, the wife of Fred Herold, of Oel- 
wein, Iowa; Henry, of Minnesota: and Bertha, who married Carl Frey, of 
Sumner township. 

Robert Heuser was reared upon the home place and later took over the 
property. A few years afterward he bought three hundred and sixty acres of 
land, all of his property being located in Sumner and Calmar townships. He 
engages in general farming and stock-raising and has made many notable improve- 
ments since he has taken charge of the farm. His house is thoroughly modern, 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 387 

two stories in height and conveniently arranged. His barns and outbuildings are 
substantially erected. He has a silo and follows the most approved methods in 
raising and feeding his stock. 

On November 26, 1891, Mr. Heuser was united in marriage to Miss Annie 
Frey and by this union were born four children, Gustave, Elsie, Lydia and Paul, 
all at home. Politically Mr. Heuser is a republican and fraternally a Woodman. 
He holds membership in the Congregational church of Spillville, taking an active 
interest in its work. There is much that is commendable in the career of Mr. 
Heuser, who by diligent labor and energy has become one of the substantial 
agriculturists of his district and, more than that, in the course of years he has won 
the esteem and regard of his fellow citizens. 



JESSE J. LIMBECK. 



Jesse J. Limbeck, one of the most prominent and successful of Winneshiek 
county's native sons, was born in Military township, on the 22d of January, 1883. 
He is a son of John and Agnes ( Hallman) Limbeck, the former of whom engaged 
in farming all during his active life, dying when the subject of this review was 
one vear and a half old. The mother afterward married her first husband's 
brother, Edward Limbeck, and to their union were born two children : Agnes and 
Leslie, who live at home. The family is one of the oldest in this section of Iowa, 
having been founded here in pioneer times by the paternal grandfather of the 
subject of this review, who took up six hundred and forty acres of land in Military 
township. 

Jesse J. Limbeck attended public school in Military township and afterward 
took a course in business college. Upon completing his education he turned his 
attention to farming, developing a fine tract of land and gaining for himself a 
position among the township's progressive and substantial agriculturists. He has 
recently sold his holdings and is contemplating engaging in other business. 

On the 22d of January, 1912, Mr. Limbeck was united in marriage to Miss 
Sadie M. Dinger. He is a republican in his political beliefs and a member of the 
Methodist church. He is interested in everything that pertains to the community 
advancement and development and in the section where he was born and where 
his entire life has been spent holds the respect, esteem and confidence of all who 
know him. 



TOSEPH BALK. 



Toseph Balk, who owns and operates a fine farm of one hundred and seventy 
acres on section 28, Washington township, is a native of Germany, born on the 
1 =jth of April, 1870. He is a son of John and Elizabeth (Felkel) Balk, also natives 
of the fatherland, where they still reside. In their family were six children : 
Rosie, deceased ; Joseph, of this review ; Mary. John and Annie, residents of 
Germany ; and one child who died in infancy. 



388 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Joseph Balk acquired his education in the public schools of his native country 
and at the age of seventeen crossed the Atlantic to America, locating first near 
St. Lucas, Iowa, on a farm. After one year and a half he returned to Germany 
and served one year in the regular army, after which he remained in his native 
country for two years, returning to America at the end of that time. He spent 
a short period in Buffalo, New York, and came from there to Winneshiek county, 
where he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. In 1901 he purchased 
ninety acres of land in Fayette county, but after holding it for one year sold it 
and bought another farm of eighty acres. At the end of three years he returned 
to Winneshiek county and bought one hundred and twenty acres of land, continu- 
ing its development and improvement for eight years thereafter. When he sold 
that property he purchased one hundred and seventy acres on section 28. Wash- 
ington township, and has since carefully carried on the work of its development, 
so that it now presents an attractive appearance. He is building a modern two- 
story residence upon the property and the barns and outbuildings are all in good 
repair, the owner constantly putting forth well directed efforts along lines of 
progress and improvement. He engages in general farming and stock-raising 
and in the community is recognized as a man of good business ability, whose 
judgment is sound and whose enterprise is unfaltering. 

Mr. Balk was married on the 2d of June, 1896, to Miss Marguerita Hengstl, 
and to their union have been born four children. Lizzie. John. Mary and Joseph. 
Mr. Balk is a member of the Catholic church and has always voted the democratic 
ticket, although he prefers to do his public service as a private citizen rather 
than as an office holder. He has been in America for twenty-six years — years of 
earnest and well directed work — and he deserves all the credit which is due a 
man who wins his success by honorable and persistent labor. 



EVEN E. LOMEN. 



Even E. Lomen is one of the active and progressive farmers and stock-raisers 
of Springfield township and is conducting his business interests on a fine property 
lying on section 3. The farm's neat and attractive appearance indicates his care- 
ful supervision and his practical methods and he is justly accounted one of the 
leading agriculturalists of his native county. He was born on the 6th of January, 
1861, and is a son of Erick and Olena Lomen. of whom further mention is made 
elsewhere in this work in connection with the sketch of Henry Lomen. 

Even E. Lomen was reared and educated upon his father's farm in Decorah 
township and attended district school, later becoming a student at the Brecken- 
ridge Institute. From his childhood he was familiar with the details of farm 
operation, having learned them by practical experience upon his father's property, 
and he remained at home until 1896, when he moved to one of his father's farms 
lying on section 3, Springfield township, upon which he now resides. The place 
had but slight improvements and he began further to develop and cultivate it. 
erecting fine barns and outbuildings and installing the necessary equipment. In 
addition to general farming he engages in stock-raising and is a shareholder in 
the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 389 

In December, 1896. Mr. Lomen was united in marriage to Miss Anna G. 
Eide, a daughter of Gudmund and Ingeborg Eide, natives of Norway, where the 
father engaged in farming. He died in his native country in 1907 and his wife 
survives him. Mr. and Mrs. Lomen became the parents of two children : Olena, 
aged sixteen ; and Emma, aged fourteen. 

Politically Mr. Lomen gives his allegiance to the republican party and his 
religious views are in accord with the doctrines of the Lutheran church. He is one 
of Winneshiek county's most active and progressive native sons and holds a high 
place in the respect and esteem of the community where his entire life has been 
spent. 



MARTIN WOLDUM. 

The steps in the orderly progression of Martin Woldum are easily discernible. 
He has worked his way steadily upward, wisely using his time and opportunities, 
and the success which he has achieved is the direct result of earnest, persistent 
and indefatigable effort. Like many of the leading and valuable citizens of Win- 
neshiek county he is a native of Norway, born July II, 1870, his parents being 
Halvor and Ranvai (Gram) Woldum. It was in 1885 that the family left Nor- 
way, crossed the Atlantic and made their way direct to Glenwood township, Win- 
neshiek county, Iowa. The parents resided upon a farm until three years ago, 
when in 1910 they took up their abode in Decorah, where they now reside. The 
father was a prominent horse buyer and shipper in the old country and was the 
owner of two good farms there, but lost all and sought to retrive his fortunes 
in the United States. Here he engaged in farming and his earnest labor at length 
brought him a measure of success that now enables him to live retired. Unto him 
and his wife were born seven children : Mary, the wife of Fred Sanden, of Seattle, 
Washington; Christie, the wife of H. Nassett, of Alberta, Canada; Ole, also liv- 
ing in Alberta ; Martin, of this review ; Nels, likewise a resident of Alberta ; John, 
of Decorah; and Halvor H., who is in partnership with his brother Martin under 
the name of the Woldum Produce Company, and they also own a produce business 
at Preston, Minnesota. 

Martin Woldum's start in life was an humble one. He first worked by the 
month as a farm hand and then spent a year and a half in railroading. While 
thus engaged he carefully saved his earnings and on the expiration of that period 
he joined his elder brother in the establishment of a mercantile business at Don- 
nan function, Fayette county. Iowa. After two years he sold out to his partner 
and came to Nasset, where he established a general mercantile enterprise in 1891. 
Later he admitted his brother-in-law. James Ramsey, to a partnership under the 
firm name of Woldum & Ramsey, the association being maintained for seven 
vears, when Mr. Ramsey sold out to Halvor Woldum and the present firm of 
Woldum Brothers was thus formed. Six years ago the brothers embarked in the 
produce business and in the spring of 1913 established a branch at Preston, Min- 
nesota. In 1912 they shipped sixty-four carloads of eggs and eight carloads of 
poultry from Decorah. They are also agents for the Ford automobile, and they 
have a forty-five horse power truck that they use to haul their goods, this taking 



390 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

the place of three teams. The Woldum Brothers are most enterprising, energetic 
and progressive business men. occupying a prominent position, in commercial 
circles and carrying forward to successful completion whatever they undertake. 
In addition to his other interests Martin Woldum is treasurer for the Glemvood 
Telephone Company. 

In 1893 Martin Woldum was united in marriage to Miss Julia Ramsey, who 
was born in Glemvood township in 1872, a daughter of Mons O. and Ragnilda 
Ramsey, the former now deceased, while the latter is a resident of Glemvood 
township. Mr. and Mrs. Woldum have four living children, Morris, Ruth, Mil- 
ford and Myrtle, and they also lost four children in infancy, two being named 
Reuben, while one of the others was named Milford and the fourth Myrtle. 

The Woldum family came to the United States in limited financial circum- 
stances, in fact they had hardly a dollar to their name, but father and sons 
worked energetically and have made steady progress. The eldest brother now has 
a splendid position with the International Harvester Company and is the owner 
of a large tract of land in Canada. Martin Woldum and his brother Halvor 
have become recognized as leading business men of Winneshiek county, and their 
efforts are of a character that contribute to public progress as well as to individual 
success. Martin Woldum gives his political allegiance to the republican party. 
He has filled the office of township clerk and is now one of the township trustees, 
lie is a member of the Lutheran Synod church and is well known in musical 
circles, being vice president of the Norwegian Singers Association of the State 
of Iowa and treasurer of the Winneshiek County Singers Association. He is 
interested in all the principal features of life in his adopted county and his influence 
is ever on the side of progress and improvement. 



R. A. ENGBERTS( >N. 



There is hardly a man in Decorah from whom the commercial growth of 
the city has received more impetus than R. A. Engbertson, who is the owner 
of one of the leading drug stores of the city and president of the Decorah 
State Bank, in the organization of which he was instrumental. While he is 
considered one of the most substantial men of the city and is accorded honor 
for what he has attained his activities have been equally beneficial in promoting 
the general welfare. Born in Christiania, Norway, on August 20, 1864, Mr. 
Kngbertson is the son of Ole and Bertha (Fredrickson) Engbertson, both 
natives of that country. The father was a tailor by trade. In the winter of 
1864 the family including their infant son made removal to the United States 
to partake of the advantages the new world held out to all newcomers. Locat- 
ing in Decorah, Air. Engbertson was one of the early settlers here and engaged 
at his trade in this city for the remainder of his life. He and his wife are now 
deceased, the latter's death having occurred on February 1, 1894, in Decorah. 

R. A. Engbertson attended public school in Decorah and when yet a boy 
became connected with the line of business in which he later achieved such 
remarkable success bv entering the, employ of Rudolph & Son, druggists, as 
clerk. He left that position in order to accept a similar one in the drug store of 




R. A. EXGBERTSOX 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 393 

Pi. I. Weiser, remaining with that firm for about four years and a half. Having 
decided to engage in the drug trade on his own account he entered Northwestern 
University, taking a course in pharmacy, and that his work was thorough and 
that he made himself complete master of all the scientific aspects of the pro- 
fession is evident from the fact that he received the first gold medal as the 
highest award of merit ever issued by that university in the pharmaceutical 
course of study, Mr. Engbertson completing his three-year course in 1888, in 
which year he was graduated with honors, and returned to Decorah, again 
entering the employ of Mr. Weiser, with whom he remained for five months. 
The enterprise which characterized all his later transactions came to the fore 
when favoring opportunity offered in the form of a bankrupt stock of drugs 
which could be readily purchased and of which he took possession. He demon- 
strated his ability by taking over this run-down business and gradually devel- 
oped therefrom a large and profitable trade. Today his store is one of the 
leading ones in Decorah and in the completeness of its lines, its modern appoint- 
ments and its general impression easily rivals any metropolitan store. Drugs 
of onlv the best manufacture are handled and are always fresh on hand and 
the prescription department is safeguarded in such a manner as to practically 
preclude errors. In the store are also carried sundries such as usually can be 
found in establishments of this kind. The success of its founder is entirely 
due to his own efforts, his able management, his enterprise and his accurate 
knowledge of the professional side of the business. That prosperity has been 
the reward of his labors is but natural and that he should have reached out to 
other lines of business endeavor is quite in conformity with his enterprise and 
character. For a number of years he was prominently connected with the 
lumber industry in Minnesota but later sold out his interests. It was in the 
year 1906 that he became the prime mover in the organization of an establish- 
ment which has since proved of great benefit to the community and has grown 
to be one of the foremost of this kind in the city. It is the Decorah State Bank, 
one of the solid financial houses of Decorah and this part of the state today. 
Largely through his aid it was organized on November n, 1906, with a capital 
stock of fifty thousand dollars, and its first board of directors consisted of R. 
A. Engbertson, E. P. Johnson, A. L. Haakanson, T. O. Storla and T. Stabo. 
The first board then elected the following officers : R. A. Engbertson, presi- 
dent ; E. P. Johnson, vice president; A. L. Haakanson, cashier; and J. M. 
Thorson, assistant cashier. Facts being more convincing than words, it need 
but be mentioned in addition that at the meeting held January 7, 1913, the 
bank reported a surplus of seventy-five hundred dollars and enjoys a steady 
and wholesome growth. 

On Tune 2, 1894, Mr. Engbertson married Miss Lottie Morton, a daughter 
of Peter and Hattie (Cooley) Morton, the former a native of Scotland and 
the latter of Massachusetts. They made removal to Decorah during Civil war 
days, locating on a farm in Orleans township where the father is still living, 
the mother having since passed away. 

Mr. Engbertson is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church, his' wife 
giving her allegiance to the local organization of the Methodist Episcopal 
denomination. For many years he voted the republican ticket but is now con- 
nected with the progressive party, being convinced of the righteousness of the 
vol. n— is 



394 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

principal planks in its platform. For one term he served efficiently as council- 
man from the first ward, ably representing his constituency in the city govern- 
ment and making a record which identified him with a progressive policy in 
regard to the city's affairs. The business record Mr. Engbertson has made is 
highly creditable, his course being marked by steady progress gained through 
ready utilization of every opportunity that has presented itself, and his suc- 
cess is such that his methods are of general interest, an analyzation of his 
life record showing that he has always based his actions upon rules of strict 
and unswerving integrity and unflagging enterprise. He is a business man of 
the modern type, shrewd, able, progressive and straightforward, careful of his 
own interests, considerate of those of others and influenced at all times by the 
thought of the broader effect which his work has on the growth of his com- 
munity. 



HANS L. HANSON. 



The record of many of Winneshiek county's worthy citizens reflected credit 
not only upon the state but also upon their native land of Norway. Such was 
the life history of Hans L. Hanson, who was born in the land of the midnight 
sun December 7, 1867, and passed away on his farm in Canoe township, April 
26, 1907. His parents were Hans and Anna (Olson) Hanson, who in the year 
1 87 1 came to the United States, making their way direct to Winneshiek county. 
They settled first in Hesper township and afterward removed to Canoe township. 
The father was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, passing away in the 
year in which he arrived in the new world. The mother, however, survived until 
191 1. In their family were three children: Andrew and Hans, both of whom are 
residents of Canoe township ; and Christine, the deceased wife of Jacob Budahl. 

Hans L. Hanson spent his entire life in Canoe township from the age of four 
years, having been reared on the old homestead, while soon after his marriage he 
took up his abode on the farm which is still owned by his widow, which comprises 
one hundred and sixty-three acres of land on section 23 and is known as the 
Canoe Dairy Farm, being devoted to the live stock and dairy business, making a 
specialty of Holstein cattle. Mr. Hanson developed the farm according to modern 
methods and carefully and systematically tilled the soil, bringing the land under 
a good state of cultivation, while his stock-raising and dairy interests constituted 
also a most important feature of the place. 

On the 2d of June, 1892, Mr. Hanson was married to Miss Bertha L. Haugen, 
who was born December 6, 1858, on the farm which is still her home, her parents 
being Peter L. and Anna Haugen, who settled upon this place in 1854, being among 
the pioneer residents of this section of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Hanson became 
the parents of five children, Anna, Christina, Amanda, Bennie and Peter, all of 
whom were born upon the farm which the family still occupies. 

In his political views Mr. Hanson was a republican, always voting for the 
men and measures of the party, yet never seeking nor desiring office for himself. 
He held membership in the Evangelical Lutheran church and his was a well spent 
life, whereby he gained the respect, confidence and good-will of his fellowmen. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 395 

His death, which occurred April 26, 1907, when he was in tiie fortieth year of his 
age, was deeply regretted bv all who knew him. In his passing the community 
lost a loyal citizen, his associates a faithful friend, and his family a devoted hus- 
band and father. 



ANTON KUHN. 



The progressive farming and stock-raising interests of Winneshiek county 
find a prominent and successful representative in Anton Kuhn, whose fine farm 
of three hundred and four acres lies on sections 22 and 2$. Jackson township, 
and is in its neat and attractive appearance a visible evidence of his life of well 
directed energy and thrift. He is one of this county's native sons, born at Spill- 
villeon the 17th of October, 1870, his parents being George and Josephine ( Novo- 
tny ) Kuhn, natives of Germany and Bohemia respectively. The father crossed 
the Atlantic when he was not yet one year and a half old and he spent his child- 
hood and youth in Pennsylvania, whence he came to Iowa in 1854. Since that 
time he has been an interested witness of its continued growth and development 
and is today well known and highly respected in Spill ville where he makes his 
home. He and his wife became the parents of five children: Joseph P.. who 
resides near Spillville ; Alary, deceased: Anton, of tin's review; Josephine, who 
married Math Ludwig of Elma, Iowa ; and George, who resides on the home 
farm. 

Anton Kuhn grew up on his father's farm in Winneshiek county and by 
assisting his father with the work of the homestead became in his youth thoroughly- 
familiar with the best agricultural methods. Upon his marriage in 1894 he pur- 
chased land of his own, buying one hundred and twenty acres on section 23, 
Jackson township, to which he added, first, sixty-four acres and then one hundred 
and twenty, his holdings now comprising three hundred and four acres, lying on 
sections 22 and 23. Since he acquired this property Mr. Kuhn has steadily carried 
forward the work of its development and cultivation along progressive, modern 
lines, the farm responding to his careful supervision and practical methods by 
constantly increasing productiveness. Substantial improvements have been made 
upon it, including fine barns and outbuildings and two silos, the capacities of 
which are one hundred and ten and fifty tons respectively. Mr. Kuhn has never 
neglected anything which will add to the attractiveness or value of his place and 
it is today one of the finest, most productive and best managed properties of its 
kind in the county. Upon it he carries on general farming and stock-raising and 
he intends in the near future to increase his herd of shorthorn milch cows and 
engage in the dairy business on an extensive scale. 

On the 30th of January, 1894, Mr. Kuhn was united in marriage to Miss 
Anna Ludwig, a daughter of John and Mary (Mikota) Ludwig, the former a 
native of Germany and the latter of Bohemia. The father, who spent his entire 
life engaged in farming, has passed away but his wife survives him and resides 
near Spillville. Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn have become the parents of ten children : 
Albert [., who was born on the 26th of March, 1895; Andrew, born August 30, 
i8q6; Edward, born July 21, 1898; Anna, whose birth occurred on the 9th of 
July, 1900; Adolph, born November n, 1902; Frances, born December 15, 



396 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

1904; Antonia, born January 4, 1907; Regina and Clara, twins, born August <), 
1909; and Elizabeth, born January 13, 1912. 

Mr. Kuhn is a member of the Roman Catholic church and he is connected 
fraternally with the Catholic Order of Foresters. His political allegiance is given 
to the democratic party and he has rendered his township excellent service as 
school director. He is now acting as township trustee and is discharging his duties 
capably and efficiently, his record reflecting credit upon his energy and his public 
spirit alike. In Winneshiek county where his entire life has been spent he is 
well and favorably known as a man reliable in business, progressive in citizenship 
and faithful to all ties and obligations of life. 



NICHOLAS RICHERT. 

.Nicholas Richert, a progressive agriculturist and an extensive stock breeder 
and dealer, owns the Prairie Grove stock farm, a fine property of one hun- 
dred and twelve acres on section 20. Flesper township, lie was born in Alsace- 
Lorraine, when that country was a French possession. July _>o. 1867, a son of 
Nicholas and Mary ( Gitz) Richert. who came to America and Winneshiek county 
in the fall of 1881. They are now living retired in Decorah. 

Nicholas Richert spent his childhood in his native country and was four- 
teen years of age when he accompanied his parents to America. After his arri- 
val in Winneshiek county he spent a number of years working as a farm laborer, 
receiving eighteen dollars per month in the summers and ten dollars per month 
during the winters. By the exercise of thrift and economy he saved a small 
sum of money and with it purchased a milk route, hauling cream for the Helper 
creamery for three years thereafter. After his marriage, which occurred Octo- 
ber 11, 1893. at the Locust church, he rented a farm in Hesper township and after 
operating it for two years purchased his present property. In 1896 he located 
upon his farm and has maintained his residence there to the present time, lie 
has been most practical and progressive in his methods of operation and his 
property has come to lie one of the most valuable and productive in this lo- 
cality. L'pon it he has made substantial improvements, erecting an excellent 
lesidence. fine barns and outbuildings and planting a splendid grove of trees of 
different varieties. Mr. Richert's stock-raising interests engage the greater part 
of his attention and he has become well known throughout the county as an 
extensive breeder and dealer. For a number of years he has raised Poland 
China hogs and of late years has added Duroc Jerseys, his animals command- 
ing high prices and ready sales. He has recently begun breeding Hereford cat- 
tle and has exhibited with great success at a number of fairs. His stock-rais- 
ing interests are extensive and he keeps in touch with scientific methods of 
breeding through his membership in the Duroc Jersey Swine Association of 
America. In addition to his home farm he owns also a fine tract of timber land 
on section 9, Hesper township, and his affairs are all carefully conducted, bring- 
ing him a gratifying measure of success. 

October 11, 1893. at Locust church, Mr. Richert was united in marriage to 
Miss Rosa Kenyon. who was born in Hesper township in August, 1866, a daugh- 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 397 

ter of Oliver and Lavina Kenyon, of whom further mention is made elsewhere 
in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Richert have become the parents of two children, 
Elsie Lucinda and Robert Roy. 

Mr. Richert is a member of the Lutheran church and fraternally is identified 
with the Modern Woodmen of America. lie gives his political allegiance to the 
democratic party and takes an intelligent interest in community affairs, although 
not an active politician. Hesper township numbers him among her most able 
and successful citizens and the prosperity which he enjoys is well deserved, 
having come as the result of well directed labor, untiring industry and sound busi- 
ness judgment. 



|OHN T. SOUKUP. 



A native of Austria, John J. Soukup was brought by his parents from that 
country to Winneshiek county, where they located in 1868, and here he has ever 
since made his home, attaining success along agricultural lines, now owning a 
valuable farm of one hundred and fifty- four acres on section 11, Sumner town- 
ship. He was born in the Austrian Empire, May 21, 1862, and is a son of Frank 
and Mary (Cheitk) Soukup, natives of Austria, who came to America in 1868, 
locating in Calmar township, near Spillville, where the father engaged in agri- 
cultural pursuits and where he passed the remainder of his life until his death, 
which occurred on November 1, 1896. The mother died about a decade later, 
on the 22A of February, 1906. To their union were born five children: Frank, 
who remains on the old homestead in Calmar township; John J., our subject; 
Joseph F., of Sumner township; Martin, of Decorah; and Celia, the wife of 
William Berry, of Chicago. 

John J. Soukup was reared under the parental roof and remained with his 
parents until twenty-three years of age, when he rented one hundred and twenty 
acres in Sumner township, farming there for about twelve years, or until 1897, 
when he bought his present farm, comprising one hundred and fifty-four acres 
on section 11. He has ever turned his labor to good account, has undertaken 
a number of valuable improvements and has enhanced the value of his farm 
in various ways. He engages in general farming and stock-raising, deriving a 
gratifying income from both undertakings. 

On November 23, 1885, Mr. Soukup was united in marriage to Miss Josie 
Zoulek, a daughter of John and Alary ( Knutz ) Zoulek, natives of Austria, who 
came to Iowa in 1864. The father for many years followed farming but was 
a stone mason by trade. He died in July, 1893, but the mother is still living at 
the age of eighty-four and makes her home with her son, John J. Mr. and 
Mrs. John Zoulek became the parents of ten children: Mary, the wife of Joseph 
Mekish, of Spillville ; Joseph, who died in childhood ; Annie, who married John 
Fisher, of Spillville ; Rosie, deceased ; Katie, the wife of Frank J. Soukup, of 
Calmar township; Josie, the wife of our subject; Tena, the wife of Clements 
Herold. of Sumner township; Frances, the widow of Joseph Swhle, of Spill- 
ville ; Tohn J., of Sumner township ; and Lena, the widow of W. J. Shevik, of 
Spillville. Mr. and Mrs. John J. Soukup have six children: William F., born 



398 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

August 30, 1886, of Lincoln township; Emma, born October 18, 1888, at home; 
Mary, born March 26, 1891, the wife of Joseph Luzum, of Calmar township; 
Martin, born August 7, 1893, at home; Carl, whose natal day was April 8, 
1896, and who resides at home; and Louisa, born January 13. 1904. also at home. 
Mr. Soukup is a devout communicant of the Catholic church. His political 
allegiance is given to the democratic party and he is now serving as township 
assessor, while he has also done valuable work as a member of the school 
board. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, taking an interest in all 
that affects the community and ever ready to support worthy public enterprises. 



ADOLPH G. GUNDARSON. 

Since Adolph G. Gundarson was twenty years of age he has been connected 
with mercantile interests of Ossian, his native city, and is now in control of an 
important and lucrative trade in drugs, jewelry, paints, oil, wall paper, etc. Upon 
his own industry, enterprise and ability he has founded his success and it places 
him today in the front ranks of the city's progressive and reliable business men. 

He was born on the 26th of February. 1886, and is a son of Andrew and 
Anna (Olson) Gundarson, natives of Norway. They came to America in 1863 
and settled immediately in Ossian, where the father turned his attention to mer- 
cantile pursuits, conducting a general store in that place for thirty-two years 
and becoming during that time a leading figure in the promotion of mercantile 
development. He died in Ossian on the [8th of August, 1910. He had been 
three times married. He wedded first Miss Clara Stangland and they became 
the parents of one child. Mrs. Pegg, of Valva, North Dakota. His second wife 
was Miss Anna Olson, who died in [889, leaving one son, the subject of this 
review. Andrew Gundarson then married Miss Olena Olson, sister to his second 
wife and to this union were born three children: Lenora, who is studying music 
in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Clara, who is in school at St. Olaf, Minnesota; and 
Marguerite, of Red Wing, Minnesota. 

Adolph G. Gundarson acquired his early education in the public schools of 
his native town and was afterward a student at Luther College of Decorah. 
When he began his independent career he turned his attention at once to the 
general merchandise business, but he continued in it only one year, selling his 
store at the end of that time and taking up the study of medicine. After a year 
he opened a drug store in ( Issian, which he has since continued to conduct, carry- 
ing a full line of drugs, jewelry, paints, oil and wall papers. In recognition of 
his ability, the fine quality of the goods which he handles, his reasonable prices 
and his constant courtesy he has been accorded a liberal and representative pat- 
ronage and occupies a high place among Ossian's successful and enterprising 
merchants. 

Mr. Gundarson was married on the iwth of Februarv, 1912, to Miss Mary 
Stangland and they have one daughter, Adolpha Marie, born December 29, 1912. 
Mr. Gundarson is a member of the Lutheran church, and fraternally is connected 
with the Masonic order and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He gives 
his political allegiance to the republican party and is active and progressive in 




ADOLPH G. OUXDARSON 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 401 

matters of citizenship, although his interest in public affairs never takes the form 
of office seeking. He prefers to concentrate his attention upon the development 
of his business and although he is still a young man he has already won a grat- 
ifying and well deserved success. 



JACOB MEYER. 



For many years Jacob Meyer has been connected with the commercial de- 
velopment of Winneshiek county and especially of Calmar, where for the last 
twenty-five years he has been extensively engaged in the grain and live-stock 
business as the principal owner of the firm of Meyer & Company. Moreover, he 
has participated in the puplic life of the community which he now efficiently 
serves as mayor, having held this office at different times for eight years and 
having also served with ability in a number of minor township offices, besides 
being, since August 9, 1 9 1 3 , the postmaster at Calmar. His career is proof of 
the fact that success is but ambition's answer and none begrudge him the fore- 
most position which he holds in his community because it is self-won and is the 
outcome of incessant industry and innate ability. Born in Zurich, Switzerland, 
on November 20, 1845, Jacob Meyer is the son of Jacob and Margaret (Wis- 
mer) Meyer, natives of that country. The father was reared upon a farm and 
followed agricultural pursuits for a number of years before he was appointed 
superintendent of an old people's home, in which capacity he was active for the 
rest of his life, a period covering forty-four years. He died in 1890 and his 
wife followed him in death eighteen years later or in 1908. 

Jacob Meyer was reared and educated in his native country and after putting 
his text-books aside entered the employ of a mercantile and grain house with 
whom he remained for six years. Perceiving the opportunities which went 
begging on the other side of the Atlantic he came to America in 1866 and lo- 
cated in Winneshiek county, Iowa, beginning his business career in this country 
in the humble station of farm hand and subsequently finding employment in 
a brewery. He was thus occupied until he rented the brewery in partnership 
with another party, operating this enterprise until 1868, when he sold out his 
interest. He then engaged as a clerk in a store at Spillville and remained in that 
capacity until 1870, when his employer J. J. Ilaug offered his nephew, J. H. 
Haug, and Mr. Meyer an equal share in the business and the firm became J. J. 
Haug & Company and so remained until 1876, when J. J. Haug retired, and 
the business was continued under the firm name of Meyer & Haug until 1878, 
when Mr. Meyer came to Calmar, establishing a store in partnership with A. 
Dostal, which they conducted together until 1888. In that year Mr. Meyer 
engaged in the grain, seed and live-stock business which he has successfully fol- 
lowed ever since under the firm name of Meyer & Company, his son, G. A. 
Meyer, of whom more extended mention is made in another part of this book, 
being connected with him in business. 

In October, 1872, Mr. Meyer married Miss Bertha Bindschaedler, a daugh- 
ter of Jacob and Regula Bindschaedler, natives of Switzerland. Unto this 
union were born seven childrenj Gustav A., who is mentioned at greater length 



402 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

elsewhere in this volume; Carl, the manager of the sash and door factory at 
Calmar; J. H.. who also resides in Calmar ; Louise, the wife of Dr. R. R. l'age, 
of Ponca, Nebraska; Matilda, at home; Ruth, who graduated from school at 
Grinnell, Iowa, in June. 1913, and has been elected assistant principal of the high 
school at Calmar; and Jacob, who passed. away in 1885 at the age of eight years. 
Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Meyer also has actively participated in 
the public life of his community. I lis political affiliation is with the democratic 
party and his religious faith is that of the German Lutheran church of which 
he and his wife are members. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Wood- 
men and the Yeomen. Although born in a foreign country he has readily grasped 
the idea of American citizenship and, public-spirited and progressive, has largely 
contributed to the development of his section, at the same time attaining a pros- 
perity which assures him of a creditable position in the commercial life of the 
count v. 



PETER J. SMITH. 



Among the successful and progressive farmers of Winneshiek county is 1111111- 
bered Peter J. Smith, who owns and operates a fine property of one hundred and 
sixty acres on section 33, Washington township. He is a native of Iowa, born 
in Fayette county, November 15, 1870, and is a son of John and Margaret 
(Schatz) Smith, natives of Prussia, Germany, who came to America in 1856, 
locating first in Wisconsin. After two years they moved to Fayette county, 
Iowa, and in 1880 came to Winneshiek county, the father buying two hundred 
and eighty acres of land on section 33, Washington township. This property he 
made a model farm, giving his entire attention to its improvement and develop- 
ment until his death, which occurred in 1898, his wife surviving him until 1907. 
To their union were born twelve children : Catherine, who married Christopher 
Xepper, of Gregory, South Dakota; Zita, the widow of John Henke. of Fayette 
county; Philip and Fred, who reside in Fayette county; Annie, the wife of Hen 
Gardner, of the same county; Barbara, the widow of C. C. ( irimes, of Lelo, South 
Dakota; Mary, who has passed away; Frances, the wife of John Schleier, of Win- 
neshiek county; Peter J., of this review; John, deceased; Clemence, of Fayette 
county ; and Frank, a resident of Fort Atkinson. 

Peter J. Smith accompanied his parents to Winneshiek count\- in 1880, being 
at that time ten years of age, and he completed an education begun in his native 
section in the district schools. He remained with his father until he was twenty- 
six years of age and then began his independent career, renting one hundred and 
twenty acres of land in Fayette county. Upon this he resided for two vears, after 
which he purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section ^t,, Washington town- 
ship, Winneshiek county, upon which he has since made his home. There is an 
attractive dwelling upon the property, the other improvements are substantial and 
modern and the entire farm is divided into fields of convenient size by means 
of fences. Mr. Smith engages in general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising 
and both branches of his activities are profitable and important. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 403 

On the 15th of November, 1899, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss 
Maggie Hein and they have become the parents of five children, Nora, Irvin, Her- 
bert, Louis and Bertha. Mr. Smith is a devout member of the Roman Catholic 
church and politically gives his allegiance to the democratic party, taking an 
active and public-spirited interest in community affairs, although never seeking 
office for himself. He early learned that industry is the basis of all success and 
he has labored diligently and earnestly throughout the years to gain a comfort- 
able competency and to win for himself a creditable position in agricultural 
circles. The many sterling qualities of his character have commended him to 
the confidence and good-will of all and he has an extensive circle of friends in 
the community where practically his entire life has been spent. 



THEODORE FLEISCHER. 

Theodore Fleischer, engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in 
Ossian, was born in Racine, Wisconsin, on the 6th of December, 1853, and is a 
son of Adolph and Gertrude (Cremer) Fleischer, natives of Germany. They 
came to America in the early '30s and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the 
father afterward following the carpentering trade in various parts of that state 
until his death in 1872. His wife survived him some years, her death occur- 
ring in 1898. To their union were born seven children: Theodore, the subject 
of this review ; Fredricka, deceased ; William and Mary, who have also passed 
away ; Nicholas, who resides in San Diego, California ; Carrie, the wife of Frank 
Beffel of Racine, Wisconsin ; and Lizzie, who resides in Butte, Montana. 

Theodore Fleischer was reared in Racine and acquired his education in the 
city schools. After laying aside his books he took up cabinet work, following 
that trade in his native city for about twelve years. At the end of that time he 
went to Nebraska and there spent about four months before coming to Ossian. 
After his first settlement in that city he remained there for two years and then 
returned to Racine whence, after one year, he came again to Ossian, estab- 
lishing himself in the furniture and undertaking business in 1881. He has since 
conducted a large establishment of this character and in the course of years 
has met with a gratifying success. He carries a full line of furniture which 
may be relied upon both for style and workmanship and he has built up a flour- 
ishing and growing trade along this line, his business methods being at all 
times reliable and straightforward and his business integrity above reproach. The 
undertaking department is also well managed and profitable and Mr. Fleischer 
stands today among the representative and substantial business men of the city 
where he makes his home. 

Mr. Fleischer has been twice married. On the 13th of January, 1S80, he 
wedded Miss Elizabeth Meyer who passed away August 4, 1886, leaving three 
children: Andrew, who resides in Chicago; and Julia and Carrie, of the same 
city. Mr. Fleischer's second wife was in her maidenhood Miss Pauline Hel- 
wig, a native of Winneshiek county, and to this union were born three chil- 
dren, Rose C, Amanda and Tepherine. 



404 PAST AND PRESENT OE WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

The family are members of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally, Mr. 
Fleischer is identified with the Knights of Columbus and the Order of For- 
esters. He gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and is progres- 
sive and public-spirited in matters of citizenship, having served with credit and 
ability as township trustee and for three terms as a member of the town council. 
At all times he has been true to the obligations and responsibilities that have 
devolved upon him in every relation of life and he well merits the esteem and 
good-will which are uniformly accorded him. 



A. T. SHARP. 



A. J. Sharp, one of the prosperous farmers and successful stock dealers of 
Canoe township, is a native son of Winneshiek county, born December 9, 1859. 
His parents were William and Sarah ( Smith ) Sharp, natives of Yorkshire, 
England, where they were reared and married. About the year 1850 they 
came to the United States and, locating in Canoe township, Winneshiek county, 
Iowa, made their home upon a farm whereon they continued to reside until 
their deaths. Their property was at first raw and unimproved but the father 
set himself with characteristic energy to develop the homestead, from time to 
time adding to his holdings until he owned about three hundred acres of fine 
land lying on sections 19 and 30, Canoe township, and on section 30, Bluff ton 
township. He was one of the most extensive landowners and progressive 
agriculturists in this community and held the high esteem and respect of all 
who knew him. He was a member of the Episcopal church and a republican 
in his political beliefs, taking part in public affairs and serving in various respon- 
sible positions of trust and honor. Eleven children were born to Air. and Mrs. 
William Sharp, as follows: Elizabeth, who makes her home with her brother, 
Edward J.; Sarah, the deceased wife of Milo Emery; Clara, who married Philip 
Halse. of Canoe township; William, who resides with his brother Charles; A. J., 
the subject of this sketch ; Ralph, of Bluffton township; Ella, the wife of William 
Headington, of Canoe township ; Josie. who resides in Chicago ; Tillie. who mar- 
ried Lewis Burrack, of Detroit, Michigan; Edward J., who resides in Canoe 
township ; and Charles, cultivating the old homestead. 

A. J. Sharp grew to manhood on his father's farm, dividing his time in his 
childhood between his studies at the district school and work as assistant in the 
operation of the homestead. He remained with his parents until after his mar- 
riage and then purchased his present farm of one hundred and forty-eight acres 
on section 29. At that time this was an entirely uncultivated tract with not even 
a fence upon it, but with characteristic energy he set himself to improve and 
develop it, erecting modern and substantial buildings and installing the necessary 
machinery. His previous experience having made him a practical and progres- 
sive farmer, he met with success from the beginning and his property is today 
one of the finest in this section, a visible evidence of his life of thrift, industry 
and well directed labor. Mr. Sharp also does an extensive business as a buyer 
and shipper of cattle and this branch of his activities has become profitable and 
important under his able management. 



a 






75 

35 




PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 407 

On the 24th of November, 1884, Mr. Sharp was united in marriage to Miss 
Lizzie Headington, who was born in Canoe township in 1863. She is a daugh- 
ter of Jacob and Martha ( Powelson ) Headington, natives of Ohio and early settlers 
in Iowa. The father has passed away, the mother making her home in Decorah. 
Mr. and Mrs. Sharp have become the parents of nine children: Floyd, who resides 
in Sugar Creek, Missouri; Harry and Arthur, at home; Stella, the wife of Roy 
Tillotson, of Canoe township; Walter; Ruby; Myrtie ; Fred; and Clyde. 

Fraternally Mr. Sharp is connected with the Masonic order at Decorah, also 
belonging to the Eastern Star, and is a member of the Benevolent Protective 
Order of Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America. He takes an active part 
in local democratic politics and has been honored by his fellow citizens by election 
to various positions of trust and responsibility, including that of township treas- 
urer and member of the school board, which latter office he has held for the past 
fifteen years, his work being at all times conscientious, efficient and beneficial. 
Having resided in this township during his entire life, he takes a great interest 
in its advancement and upbuilding and anything tending to promote its progress 
receives his indorsement and hearty support. He is a public-spirited, able and 
progressive citizen and well deserves the high regard and esteem in which he is 
uniformly held. 



P. J. SPILDE. 



Among Winneshiek county's successful and progressive native sons is num- 
bered P. J. Spilde, who owns and operates a farm of eighty acres lying partly in 
Springfield and partly in Pleasant township. He was born in Pleasant township 
on December 16, 1873, and is a son of John P. and Julia (Spilde) Spilde, na- 
tives of Norway. The father came to America when he was nine years of age, 
locating in Winneshiek county, where he was reared and educated. Upon attain- 
ing his majority he purchased a farm in Pleasant township which he improved 
and operated for thirty-three years thereafter, becoming well known as a pros- 
perous and enterprising agriculturist and as a loyal and public-spirited citizen. 
Eventually he sold his property and retired from active business life, buying a ten 
acre farm in the same township, whereon he still resides, having reached the age 
of sixty-four. His wife is also living, being now sixty-two years of age. 

P. J. Spilde was reared in Pleasant township, upon his father's farm and 
acquired his education in the district schools. He began his independent career 
at the early age of twelve and the independence and self-reliance developed in 
him by being thus early thrown upon his own resources have remained salient 
elements in his character since that time. Until 1895 he worked as a farm 
laborer and then rented land which he operated for two years, finally purchas- 
ing sixty acres 'on sections 3 and 4, Springfield township. He began the improve- 
ment and development of this property and as his financial resources grew added 
to his holdings, buying in 1907 twenty acres in Pleasant township, so that he now 
owns eighty acres of highly improved and cultivated land. His farm is pro- 
vided with an attractive residence, good barns and outbuildings and is among the 
most desirable properties in this section of the county. Aside from his agricultural 



408 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

pursuits Mr. Spilde also delivers cream four days a week for the Nordness Cream- 
ery Company and he is a stockholder in that concern as well as in the Xordness 
Telephone Company and the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah. 

On the 10th of June. 1897, Air. Spilde was united in marriage to Miss Ida 
Ystaas, a daughter of Iver and Sarah (Homre) Ystaas, natives of Norway. 
The father was a pioneer in Winneshiek county, purchasing in early times the 
farm which the subject of this review now owns. He has reached the age of 
seventy-one and has survived his wife since 1909. Mr. and Mrs. Spilde have five 
children: Julia, aged fifteen; Iver, thirteen; Andrew, ten; Ida, seven; and C.ustav, 
fourteen months. 

Mr. Spilde gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is a 
member of the Lutheran church. He is interested in the development of the 
community and cooperates heartily in all measures and projects for its advance- 
ment and growth. He is a man of many sterling traits of character, active in busi- 
ness, progressive in citizenship and at all times trustworthy and reliable. 



HENRY W. FUNKE, Jr. 

Winneshiek county has its full quota of progressive fanners who have con- 
tributed their share toward the upbuilding and development of the community. 
Among their number is Henry W. Funke, Jr.. now living in Springfield town- 
ship, where his time and energies are fully occupied with the care and cultivation 
of a farm of one hundred acres, which presents a neat and attractive appear- 
ance and is a visible evidence of his life of well directed thrift. Mr. Funke 
is a native son of this part of Iowa, born in Springfield township, June JO. 1885, 
his parents being Henry and Maggie I Eggstuler 1 Funke, the former born in 
• lermany, April 4, 1853. He was brought by his parents to America in the same 
year and in 1854 to Winneshiek count)', where he grew to manhood and where 
lie is now a prosperous and successful farmer. In his family are nine chil- 
dren: Maggie, the wife of Castro Buchied, of Washington township; Annie, in 
a convent at La Crosse. Wiso msin ; Barbara, also a nun in a convent at La Crosse ; 
Mary, who lives at home; Henry W., of this review; Albert H.. Herman C. and 
Otilda, all of whom live at home ; and Agnes, who is in a convent at La Crosse. 

Henry W. Funke, Jr., was reared upon his father's farm and acquired his 
education in the district schools of Springfield township. From his childhood lie 
assisted with the operation of the farm and in 1908 began his independent career, 
buying one hundred acres of land, of which eighty are in Springfield township 
and twenty in Military township. Upon this land he still resides. Here he carries 
on general farming and stock-raising and both branches of his business under 
his able management have proven extremely profitable. Substantial improve 
ments have been made upon the farm, everything is kept in good repair and the 
machinery is of the modern and labor-saving kind. Mr. Funke gives practically 
all of his attention to making his farm productive and profitable and the result of 
his care is seen in the neat and attractive appearance of the place, which i- one 
of the finest agricultural properties in his section of the county. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 40!) 

Mr. Funke married Miss Johanna Zweibahmer, a daughter of Fred and 
Annie Zweibahmer, natives of Germany. To Mr. and Mrs. Funke were born 
five children : Joseph, who lives at home; Rosie and Regina, twins; Hugo; and 
Victoria. 

.Mr. Funke is a member of the Roman Catholic church, holding membership 
in the Roman Catholic Association, and he is a democrat in his political beliefs. 
He is interested in all that pertains to the general progress and cooperates in many 
movements for the good of the community, being at all times a progressive and 
public-spirited citizen as well as a farsighted and discriminating business man. 



HENRY I. GIESEN. 



A foremost representative of commercial life in Calmar, Iowa, Henry J. 
Giesen has for many years owned the only exclusive grocery store in the city and 
is also extensively engaged in the real-estate and insurance business here. 
Moreover, he has given evidence of his public spirit by efficiently acting in various 
public positions, making a creditable record and giving valuable service to the 
community. Since April, 191 2, the grocery store has been conducted under the 
name of The II. J. Giesen Company, Herman J. Busch becoming a partner in the 
enterprise and the manager. 

Henry J. Giesen is a native of Winneshiek county, being born in Conover on 
May 6, 1874. a son of Conrad and Anna C. (Huber) Giesen, the father a na- 
tive of Germany and the mother of Indiana. He was brought to this country 
by his parents when he was but six years of age, the family locating in Allamakee 
county, this state. The grandfather of our subject served as captain in a col- 
ored infantry regiment in the Civil war, coming at the end of hostilities to Win- 
neshiek county and engaging in the drug business at Conover, but subsequently 
removed to Fort Atkinson, this state, wEere he lived retired until his demise. 
Conrad Giesen, the father, was reared and educated in Conover, attending the 
public schools, however, for only three months in his life. However, he im- 
proved his limited education by studying and reading and became a well in- 
formed man upon many subjects. In 1875 he came to Calmar, Iowa, and engaged 
in the lumber business, so continuing until 1896 with gratifying success. He 
also maintained a lumberyard at Fort Atkinson. In 1896 he engaged in the 
general mercantile business in the same building in which our subject is now 
located, having bought the establishment in 1892 but not becoming connected 
with its active operation until the aforementioned year. He conducted the store 
until 1900, when he disposed of his interests and went to Superior, Wis- 
consin, again returning to the lumber business, being so engaged until his death, 
which took place in June, 1909. The mother still makes her home in Superior. 
Wisconsin. 

Mr. Giesen was reared under the parental roof and educated in Calmar, 
attending public school there. To improve his education he then attended Val- 
dcr"s Business College of Decorah, graduating with the class of 1891, and then 
entered his father's establishment, remaining in the store until 1898, when he 
engaged in the grocery business in Calmar. having been so occupied ever since. 



41(1 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

The store is located in the building which was used by the father, and the struc- 
ture, which is a two-story brick building, is also the property of our subject. 
He has the only exclusive grocery store in town and carries a large and complete 
stock of fancy and staple groceries, enjoying a large patronage which insures 
him of a gratifying income. He conducted the enterprise alone until April, 1912, 
when he took Herman J. Busch into partnership, the latter now being manager 
of the store. Since that time the concern has operated under the firm name of 
The H. J. Giesen Company. Mr. Giesen is also engaged in the real-estate and 
insurance business, to which he now devotes most of his time. He owns con- 
siderable real estate in Calmar and vicinity, including his fine residence. 

On September 10, 1895, Mr. Giesen married Nellie Bernatz, a daughter of 
George and Elizabeth Bernatz, of whom more extended mention is made in con- 
nection with the sketch of ( "ieorge Bernatz on another page of this work. Mr. 
and Mrs. Giesen had eight children: George, who died August 25, 1807; Ethel, 
who passed away April 3, 1899; and Willis. Donald, Phillip, Mary, Helen and 
Dolores, aged twelve, nine, seven, five, three and two years, respectively. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Giesen has become closely connected 
with the public life of his locality, having served as city treasurer. At present 
he is clerk of Calmar township, having held this office for twelve years and also 
served for two years as deputy sheriff. His faith is that of the Catholic church 
and his political allegiance is given to the republican part}-, in whose principles 
and platform he steadfastly believes. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights 
of Columbus, of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Woodmen of the World 
and the Decorah lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. While he 
has attained commendable material success, Mr. Giesen has been a serviceable 
factor in the upbuilding and development of his locality and stands always ready 
to support any movement undertaken in the interest of the people. A man of 
strong character, he enjoys the high regard and confidence of all who know him. 



HELGE H. AAKER. 



Among the men who have promoted agricultural progress in Winneshiek 
county is Helge H. Aaker, who holds title to three hundred and fifty acres, com- 
prising the old home farm, which he acquired from the other heirs by purchase, 
his father having originally bought the property from the government. One 
hundred and sixty acres of it is located on section 1, Sumner township, eighty 
acres in Lincoln township and one hundred and twenty acres in Calmar town- 
ship. Mr. Aaker was born on this farm on December 21. 1850, a son of Hans 
O. and Rachel (Juve) Aaker, both natives of Norway. The parents came to 
America in 1848, locating in Wisconsin, but in 1851 they removed to Winneshiek 
county, where the father took up land on section 1 in Sumner township. There 
he passed his life, gradually bringing his land under cultivation until in the place 
of wild prairie land he owned a productive farm. The old log house which 
served as the first family home, and which the father himself built shortly after 
he had taken up the land with the government, still stands. At his death he left 
three hundred and fifty acres. He passed away in September, 1900, his wife 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 411 

having preceded him by over five years, her death occurring on February 27, 
1895. To their union were born ten children: Rachel, deceased; Alice, who mar- 
ried G. G. Gilbertson, of Ada, Minnesota; Ole, of Twin Valley. Minnesota; 
Helge H., of this review ; Hans, of North Dakota ; Maria, who married Gilbert 
Botkins, of Lincoln township, this county ; Annie and Isabelle, deceased ; and a son 
and daughter who died in infancy. 

Helge H. Aaker has spent practically his whole life upon the old homestead, 
where he was reared and educated, early becoming acquainted with thorough 
agricultural methods. After the death of the mother, in 1895, he bought out the 
other heirs and now owns all of the three hundred and fifty acres. His fields 
are in a high state of productivity and his buildings substantially constructed and 
modernly equipped. The latest machinery can be found upon his place and he 
ever follows the most approved methods in order to increase his yield and 
enhance the value of his land. He carries on general farming and stock-raising 
and along both lines has been more than ordinarily successful. His political 
affiliation is with the republican party and he has given evidence of his interest 
in the cause of education by serving as a school director. He continues in the faith 
of his fathers, being an attendant and member of the Lutheran church. Highly 
esteemed by his friends and neighbors, Mr. Aaker occupies an enjoyable position 
among his fellow citizens, and such prosperity as has come to him is well merited, 
as it is the outcome of his own continuous efforts. 



JOHN A. GOSSMAN. 



A tract of one hundred and forty acres, located on sections 7 and 17, Burr 
Oak township, pays tribute to the labor of John A. Gossman, in the splendid 
harvests which he annually gathers therefrom. He is a native son of the town- 
ship, his birth having occurred April 12, 1874. He is the second youngest in 
a family of eight children born unto Anthony and Elizabeth (Snyder) Gossman, 
a complete record of whom is given in connection with the sketch of Jacob E. 
Gossman on another page of this work. 

John A. Gossman was reared on his father's farm and by him was trained 
in the work of the fields, while he acquired a practical education in the district 
schools of Burr Oak township. He chose as his life work agricultural pursuits 
and now has in his possession a fertile tract of one hundred and forty acres, 
situated on sections 7 and 17, Burr Oak township. On his place are found a 
comfortable country home and substantial barns and outbuildings and Mr. Goss- 
man takes a just pride in keeping his place in a neat and attractive appearance. 
He is engaged in raising the cereals best adapted to soil and climate and in addi- 
tion engages to some extent in dairy farming. He has always led a busy life and 
his labors are bringing to him rich returns. 

Mr. Gossman chose as a companion and helpmate for the journey of life Miss 
Minnie McCabe, who was born in Bluffton township. Winneshiek county, De- 
cember 13, 1877, a daughter of Terrance and Mary (Ryan) McCabe, who still 
make their home in Bluffton township. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Gossman 
has been blessed with seven children, as follows : Clement ; Murland, who died at 



412 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

the age of fifteen months; Leland ; Francis; Xorbert. who also died in infancy; 
Claudius; and Mildred. 

Mr. Gossman is a democrat in his political views and affiliations and being a 
public-spirited man has been called by his fellow townsmen to fill various offices 
of trust. He has served as road supervisor and has been president of the school 
board for the past fifteen years. He is a communicant of the St. Agnes Catholic 
church. Alert and enterprising, he avails himself of every opportunity that pre- 
sents itself for advancement along agricultural lines, using the latest improved 
machinery in his work and making a close study of conditions of the soil. He is 
honest in his dealings with his fellowmen and is everywhere known as an hon- 
orable and upright citizen who fully merits the esteem and respect which is ac- 
corded him. 



JOSEPH PHILIP KUHN. 

Among the most able and progressive native sons of Winneshiek county is 
numbered Joseph Philip Kuhn, a prosperous farmer and prominent man of affairs 
of Sumner tow'nship and a representative of one of the best known pioneer 
families in this part of Iowa. He was born here, March 27, [866, and is a son of 
George and Josephine (Novotny ) Kuhn, the former born in Bavaria. Germany, in 
[832 and the latter in Bohemia, Austria. The father came to America when he 
was still a child and settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he grew to man- 
hood. In 1854 he came to Iowa, settling in Calmar township, Winneshiek county, 
whence in 1865 he removed to Sumner township, where he still resides. He is a 
democrat in his political views and a member of the Roman Catholic church 
and is widely and favorably known in His locality. His father. John Kuhn, was 
the founder of the family in America. He was born in Bavaria and there grew 
to manhood, later coming to the United States and settling on a farm in 
Pennsylvania, whence he came to Iowa in 1854. He engaged in agricultural 
pursuits near Spillville. Winneshiek county, for a number of years and became 
very prominent in agricultural circles. He was a democrat in politics and a 
member of the Roman Catholic church. In the course of a long and honorable 
career he made substantial contributions to the pioneer development of this 
countv. On the maternal side Mr. Kuhn is a grandson of Frank and Katrina 
(Stebal) Novotnv, natives of Bohemia, wdiere the father engaged in farming 
for many vears. He also was a democrat and a Roman Catholic. Mr. Kuhn's 
parents were married in Spillville in 1865 and five children were born to them, 
Joseph Philip, Mary, Anton, George and Josephine. 

Toseph P. Kuhn was reared on his father's farm in Sumner township and 
acquired his education in the public schools here and in private schools at Spill- 
ville. When he began his independent career he naturally turned his attention 
to the occupation to which he had been reared and since that time he has stead- 
ily prospered in his farming operations until today he stands in the front ranks 
of progressive and successful agriculturists of his vicinity. 

At Spillville. July 22, 1890, Mr. Kuhn was united in marriage to Miss Mary 
End wig, a native of that place, born July 2, 1865, and they have become the 




JOSEPH P. KUHX 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 415 

parents of eight children: Joseph R., whose birth occurred on the 27th of April, 
1891; Frank J., born April 1, 1893; Alois, born May 20, 1895; William, August 
17, 1S98; Mary, October 11, 1901 ; Agnes, March 8, 1904; Lucy, December 12, 
1906; and Jacob, July 25, 1909. 

For many years past Mr. Kuhn has been prominent and active in local public 
affairs and has rendered his township excellent service in various important 
capacities. He served for two terms as assessor of Sumner township and for 
the past eighteen years has been secretary of the school board, the cause of educa- 
tion finding in him an intelligent and able supporter. In November, 1912, he 
was elected a member of the county board of supervisors for a term of three 
years. A devout Catholic, Mr. Kuhn has taken an active interest in the affairs 
of the Roman Catholic church and has been for the past twelve years a member 
of the church committee. He is a man of exemplary character and high and 
honorable principles and in the course of a life spent in Sumner township has 
gained the esteem and respect of his neighbors. 



GEORGE R. TAYLOR. 



George R. Taylor, manager of a large grain elevator in Jackson Junction, 
was born in Chickasaw county, Iowa, on the 1st of October, 1878, a son of 
Oliver A. and Ellen (Noon) Taylor, natives of New York and Illinois, respec- 
tively. They reside at the present time in Iowa, where the father gives his at- 
tention to the grain business. To their union were born seven children : Maud, 
who married Patrick Connelly, of Lawler, Iowa; George R., of this review; 
Oliver B., also a resident of Lawler ; Stella, of Waterloo ; Joseph C, deceased ; 
Claude L., of Ionia; and Ruth, who married Christ Osterwalter, of Ionia. 

George R. Taylor was reared in Chickasaw county and there attended dis- 
trict school, afterward taking a commercial and a normal school course at 
Nora Springs, Iowa. After completing his education he turned his attention 
to teaching but followed this occupation only six months, after which he joined 
his father at Ionia, where he became connected with the latter's grain and stock 
business. When he resigned this position he went to Tripola, where he worked 
as a grain buyer for Gilchrist & Company for some time, all the experiences of 
his active life contributing to make him thoroughly familiar with the line of 
work with which he is now connected. In 1901 he took a position as assistant 
in an elevator at Jackson Junction and after one year assumed entire manage- 
ment of the business, controlling today an important trade as a buyer, seller and 
shipper of grain. A spirit of enterprise and progress actuates him in all that 
he does and the influence of these qualities may be seen upon his business, which 
has increased steadily since he assumed control and is now of extensive and 
gratifying proportions. 

On the 3d of April, 1903, Mr. Taylor was united in marriage to Miss Lottie 
B. Trusty and to them have been born three children : Charles Oliver, who died 
in infancy ; Clark Raymond ; and Winifred Leon. Mr. Taylor gives his poli- 
tical allegiance to the democratic party. He is interested in everything that 
pertains to community growth and development and gives his active coopera- 



416 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

tion to measures for the general good, but his public service has been largely 
along business lines, consisting of the building up and developing in Jackson 
township of a large, well managed and prosperous commercial institution, the 
growth of which has affected in a material way the business progress of the com- 
munity. 



HOWELL P. NICHOLSON, Jr. 

One of the active, able and progressive young farmers in the vicinity of Ossian 
is Howell P. Nicholson. Jr., engaged in general farming, stock-raising and dairy- 
ing upon the Chestnut Hill farm, the property upon which he was born and reared. 
He is a native of Winneshiek county, his birth having occurred on the 14th of 
April, 1872, his parents being Howell P. and Caroline (Woodward) Nicholson. 
The father was born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, on the 13th of January, 
i8}i.and is a son of Harrv and Mercy (Martindale) Nicholson, natives of Ver- 
mont. Howell P. Nicholson moved to Winneshiek county on the 11th of April, 
iSsS. and is thus counted among the earliest pioneers in this part of Iowa. He 
purchased two hundred acres of land on section 4, Military township, and section 
33 Springfield township, and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, becom- 
ing one of the most prosperous and substantial farmers of his locality. At all 
times a progressive and public-spirited citizen, he has taken an active part in 
promoting the development of the community in which he has so long resided and 
has held some important positions of trust and honor, including those of town- 
ship trustee and various school offices. He has now retired from active life and 
makes his home with his son. the subject of this review. His wife also survives 
and has reached the age of eighty-five. To their union were born eight children : 
Elsie, who married John Matheson, of Rockford, Iowa ; Ellis H., of Hamilton 
City. California; Murry J., who lives in Fort Dodge; Elvie. who married J. H. 
Logsdon, of Decorah; Elmie, the wife of Henry Emerson, of P>akersfield, Califor- 
nia ; Abel L., of Santa Maria. California; George W., also of Santa Maria; and 
I fowell P.. of this review. 

The last named was reared upon the farm which he now owns and from his 
early childhood has aided in its operation, becoming familiar through practical 
experience with the best and most modern methods of farm operation. He has 
now full control of the homestead, comprising two hundred acres of fine land, 
and upon it he engages in general farming, stock-raising and dairying, making 
a specialty of breeding and fattening blooded Holstein cattle. All of the depart- 
ments of his farm are important and profitable, for be is a reliable, farsighted and 
discriminating business man and the entire place reflects in its neat and attractive 
appearance his careful supervision and practical labors. In addition to the man- 
agement of his farm he gives a great deal of time to the affairs of the Silver Spring 
Creamery Companv. of which he is manager, and to the cemetery association, 
of which he acts as treasurer. 

Mr. Nicholson was married, on the 19th of October, 1892. to Miss Margaret 
Harvey, a daughter of Cyrus A. and Margaret (De Smith) Harvey, the former 
a native of Vermont and the latter of Canada. They came to Ossian in 1866 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 417 

and remained residents of that town the remainder of their lives. Mr. and Airs. 
Nicholson have become the parents of four children: Ernest P., a clerk in the 
First National Bank of McGregor; and Hazel K., Cyrus Rodney and Hugh 
Philo, who live at home. 

Mr. Nicholson is a member of the Methodist church and fraternally is con- 
nected with the Masonic order and the Modern Woodmen of America. He gives 
his political allegiance to the republican party and, being interested in the cause 
of education, has done a great deal to promote it through his able work as secre- 
tary of the school board. In his business dealings he has ever been straightforward 
and reliable, enjoying the confidence of those with whom he has been associated, 
and as a worthy and representative citizen of Winneshiek county he fully deserves 
the substantial prosperity which is his today. 



THEODORE SCHULZ. 

A well improved, productive and valuable farm stood as a monument to the 
industry and energy of Theodore Schulz when on the 18th of April, 1906, he 
was called to his final rest after many years devoted to agricultural pursuits in 
Winneshiek county. He was born in Dortmund, Germany, on the 14th of 
February. 1844, and throughout his entire active life engaged in farming, win- 
ning the success in his chosen occupation which always follows earnest, per- 
sistent and well directed labor. After he came to Iowa he settled in Winneshiek 
and purchased land, gradually accumulating a fine property to which he gave 
practically all of his attention for many years, developing it along modern, 
practical and progressive lines, his success coming to him as a logical result of 
industry, energy and perseverance. He early realized the fact that labor is the 
basis of all prosperity and his close application and sound judgment enabled 
him to acquire a competency which, at the time of his demise, left his family 
in the comfortable circumstances which they now enjoy. 

Mr. Schulz was twice married. He wedded first Miss Caroline Cremer and 
to this union were born five children : Caroline, the wife of John Merrick of 
Duluth, Minnesota; Henry, deceased; Elizabeth, of Los Angeles, California; 
Dora, of Duluth, Minnesota, and Theodore, a resident of San Francisco, Cali- 
fornia. On the 30th of September, 1890, Air. Schulz was again married, his 
second wife being Miss Theresa Steffens. a daughter of Herman and Maria 
(Roling) Steffens, natives of Germany. As a young man the father came to 
America and after spending some time in Cincinnati, Ohio, moved in 1866 into 
Iowa, where he engaged in farming until his death in 1902. He had survived his 
wife since May 14, 1896. To their union were born three children: Henry of 
Nebraska; Theresa, widow of the subject of this review; and Frances, who has 
passed away. Airs. Herman Steffens also had three children by her first hus- 
band, Mr. Kaupel, who was engaged in the mercantile business in Cincinnati. 
They are : Bernard, of Nebraska ; Margaret, the wife of Joseph Luetkenhaus of 
Cook county, Texas; and Herman K., who has passed away. Mr. and Airs. 
Schulz became the parents of two sons : Herman A., who was born September 
30, 1891, and Edward F., born on the 30th of October, 1894. 



418 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Mr. Schulz was a member of the Catholic church and in that faith he passed 
away, his death occurring on the iSth of April, 1906. He was a democrat in 
his political beliefs and did able and effective work in various official positions 
of trust and honor, including those of township trustee and school director. 
He was ever an active worker in the party's ranks at the same time manifesting 
a deep interest in the general welfare of the community. His influence was 
ever upon the side of progress, reform and improvement and his salient qualities 
were those which make for honorable manhood and good citizenship, so that with 
his passing Winneshiek county lost one of her honored and valued residents. 



WILLIAM JOHN HOLTEV. 

\\ llham John Holtey, carrying on general farming and stock-raising upon the 
fine farm of four hundred and sixty-five acres in Military township upon which he 
was born and reared, is numbered among the most progressive and successful 
young farmers of Winneshiek county, his labors having contributed substantially 
to its agricultural growtli and development. His birth occurred on the 27th of 
December. 1875. his parents being Theodore and Maria Catherine (Seidtegel) 
Holtey. natives of Westphalia, Germany. They came to America, July 1, 1854, 
and settled in Illinois, whence two years later they removed to Iowa, locating in 
the vicinity of Calmar. Winneshiek county in 1856. After four years the father 
purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Military township on section 
19 and afterward added to this another one hundred and sixty acres lying on the 
same section. From time to time, thereafter he added to his holdings, buying 
land on section 18 and 20 of the same township, thus finally accumulating four 
hundred and sixty-five acres, which still constitutes the Holtev homestead. He 
•continued to develop and improve this property, engaging in general farming and 
stock-raising, for many years, but eventually retired and removed to Ossian, 
where he now resides, having reached the age of eighty-six. He is well and 
favorably known in that town and also in Military township to which he came 
in pioneer times and to the development of which he made such lasting and sub- 
stantial contributions, and his genuine personal worth and sterling integrity are 
honored and respected wherever he is known. Mrs. Theodore Holtey passed 
away in August, 1901. She and her husband became the parents of eight chil- 
dren: Mary, deceased; Caroline, the wife of William Eimers ; Catherine; Barney, 
who resides in Ossian ; Henry, who has passed away ; Roman, at home ; Annie, 
the wife of Henry F. Miller of Winneshiek county; and William John, of this 
review. 

William John Holtey was reared upon the farm which he now owns and 
acquired his education in the district schools of Military township. From his 
early childhood he assisted his father with the work of the homestead and became 
in this way thoroughly familiar with the best agricultural methods. In 1807 he 
purchased the home farm from his father and has since continued to develop and 
improve it, his unremitting industry and practical methods having won their 
natural reward. Upon his three hundred and twenty acres Mr. Holtev carries 
on general farming and stock-raising, both branches of his activities proving 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 419 

profitable and important, and he gives practically all of his time to the improve- 
ment of the farm which today reflects his careful supervision in its excellent con- 
dition and attractive appearance. 

On the 7th of September, 1897, Mr. Holtey married Miss Paulina Becker and 
they have become the parents of eight children: Theodore, deceased; Marie, who 
lives at home; Henry, who has passed away; Beata, Joseph, Adelia, William and 
Rosella, all of whom are still with their parents. 

The family are members of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally, Mr. 
Holtey is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Order of Foresters. 
He gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and has been called upon 
by his fellow citizens to fill various positions of trust and honor, proving always 
loyal and faithful in the discharge of his duties. He has been trustee of Military 
township and is now serving as township assessor, discharging his duties in a 
capable and farsighted manner and to the satisfaction of his constituents and the 
public at large. He has gained a high place in the business and official life of 
his native township and his record is a credit to a name that has long been an 
honored one in this part of Iowa. 



GEORGE HOVE. 



Among the younger agriculturists of Sumner township, Winneshiek county, 
is George Hove, a native of this township, who owns a valuable farm of one 
hundred and twenty acres, well improved. He was born June 8, 1884, a son of 
John and Ella ( Fardahl) Hove, the father a native of Winneshiek county and 
the mother a native of Norway. The father died in 1897, but the mother still 
lives at the old home place in Sumner township. They became the parents of 
eight children, as follows : Oscar, of North Dakota ; Henry, of Madison town- 
ship, this county; George; Elmer, who died in infancy; John Elmer, who re- 
sides on the home farm and a sketch of whom appears on another page of this 
work ; Lawrence, of Madison township ; Ida, who married Herman Albertson, 
of Sumner township ; and Amanda, at home. 

George Hove was reared under the parental roof and received his educa- 
tion in the schools of the neighborhood. He was early grounded by his par- 
ents in the old-fashioned virtues of industry and honesty, and his present pros- 
perity is proof that he has put the same to good use. He learned agricultural 
methods upon the home farm and has followed agricultural pursuits all his life. 
In 1907 he bought forty acres of the old homestead and has since added thereto 
eighty more acres on section 2, Sumner township. He carries on diversified 
farming and stock-raising, following modern methods, and has installed up-to- 
date equipment to facilitate the labor of the farm. All of his buildings are kept 
in good repair and he has also placed a silo upon the farm. 

Mr. Hove was united in marriage to Miss Sadie Thompson, and of this union 
have been born three children: Everett, whose birthday is June 1, 1908; Newman, 
born February 20, 1910; and Melvin, whose birth occurred March 25, 1912. 

Mr. Hove is independent politically, preferring to follow his own judgment 
in supporting candidates, whom he considers more in the light of their quali- 



420 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

fications than in regard to party affiliations. He is a school director of his 
district, giving thereby evidence of his interest in the cause of education, and his 
religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. He has made a good start toward 
financial independence and his farm even today represents valuable property. 
He puts all his vigor into his work and naturally the result is gratifying. He is 
highly respected and esteemed by all who know him, and it must be a great 
satisfaction to him that those who have known him since his boyhood days are 
his stanchest friends. 



G. A. MEYER. 



G. A. Meyer, a member of the firm Meyer & Company, well known in 
the grain, seed and live-stock business, successfully carries on the traditions of 
his family as one of the foremost citizens of his community. Born in Spill- 
ville, Winneshiek county, January 17, 1874, he is a son of Jacob and Bertha 
(Bindschaedler ) Meyer, of whom more extended mention is made in another 
part of this work. He was reared under the parental roof and educated in this 
county, attending the public schools of Calmar, to which village his parents had 
moved when he was four years of age. He completed his public-school educa- 
tion in 18X7 and in that year entered the Upper Iowa University at Fayette, 
there pursuing the commercial course and graduating with the class of 1888. 
He then took a course at the Breckenridge University at Decorah and subse- 
quently entered the Agricultural College at Ames, Iowa, there remaining one 
year. He then became a partner in a meat market in connection with H. Wessel- 
man, the business being so conducted for three years, at the end of which time 
Mr. Meyer sold his interest and formed a partnership with his father in the 
grain, seed and live-stock business. He has since been engaged in this line under 
the firm name of Meyer & Company and the progressive policy of the concern 
is largely due to the junior member of the firm, who ably assists his father in 
widening their trade relations. 

In June, i8q6, Mr. Meyer was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Ryan, a 
daughter of Thomas and Mary (O'Brien) Ryan, and to them was born one son, 
John ( i. Meyer, who is about sixteen years of age. Mrs. Meyer passed away 
after a short illness in 10.00 and in 1907 Mr. Meyer was again married, his second 
union being with Miss Matilda Goite, a daughter of George and Mary ( Meyer) 
Goite, natives of Pennsylvania. Her father was an agriculturist and in an early 
day in the history of the county came to Winneshiek county, where he farmed 
for many years with good success. By Mr. Meyer's second union two children 
were born : Miriam, aged four; and Francis, aged two. 

A young man, widely interested in public affairs, Mr. Meyer brings an intelli- 
gent understanding to the public questions that affect the people and at present 
is efficiently serving in the important position of chairman of the county board 
of supervisors, on which he has served continuously for six years. He has 
also been assessor of Calmar and town treasurer and at the last primary election 
was a candidate for congress on the democratic ticket. Although the district 
was conceded to be strictly republican by a vote of at least eight thousand, he was 




GUS A. MEYER 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 42:3 

able to cut down this majority to three thousand votes, polling the largest demo- 
cratic vote ever given for that office in the county and giving thereby proof of 
his personal popularity and high standing among his fellow citizens. He is an 
adherent of the German Lutheran church, in the work of which he takes an 
active and helpful interest, and fraternally he is connected with the Benevolent 
Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen, holding 
membership in the local lodges at Calmar. He occupies one of the handsome 
residences of the town and there he and his wife entertain their many friends, 
being highly esteemed and respected by all who have the honor of knowing 
them. 



ERICK O. ELLINGSON. 

Erick O. Ellingson has valuable farm property in Sumner and Lincoln town- 
ships, owning one hundred and sixty acres in the former and fifty-five in the 
latter. He was born in Illinois, in Boone county, on February 15, 1855, and is 
a son of Ole and Sarah ( Melinlong ) Ellingson, natives of Norway, who came to 
America about 1848, locating in Illinois. There they are still living, the father 
having followed agricultural pursuits during his entire active life. In their family 
are nine children: Edward, of South Dakota; Elizabeth, at home; Erick O., of 
this review ; Ellen, who married Iver Engerbrocksen, of Franklin county, this 
state; Nels, of Capron, Illinois; Lena, at home; Joseph, of Capron ; John, of 
Boone county, Illinois ; and Emma, at home. 

Erick O. Ellingson remained at home until twenty-one years of age, having 
received his education in the neighboring schools and having learned agriculture 
under the guidance of his father. At that time he came to Winneshiek county, 
where he remained for one year and then proceeded to South Dakota, where he 
proved up a claim, which he later sold. Returning to Winneshiek county, he 
then bought one hundred and sixty acres on sections 1. n and 12 in Sumner 
township. He has made excellent improvements on his land, erecting substantial 
barns, a silo, a modernly appointed home and other necessary buildings. He has 
installed most up-to-date machinery and does everything to enhance the value of 
his farm and improve its appearance. He also owns fifty-five acres in Lincoln 
township, upon which place he intends to settle when he retires from active 
labor on the larger place. He has built thereon a new and modern home which 
he soon expects to occupy. He engages in general farming and also gives close 
attention to stock-raising. 

On September 20. 1884, occurred the marriage of Mr. Ellingson to Miss 
Margaret Opstahal and to them have been born five children : Ole Alfred, deceased ; 
and Edwin, Elmer, Birdie Seleta and Albert Julius, all at home. 

Mr. Ellingson has by his example done much toward setting a standard for 
successful agricultural methods and has otherwise exhibited a worthy public 
spirit. He is progressive in all that he undertakes and also has carried his enter- 
prising spirit into the political field, having embraced the doctrines of the pro- 
gressive party. He has always been interested in anything that tended to better 
conditions in Winneshiek county and his district and four years has served 



424 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

as road supervisor. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church and he has 
ever been active to help in the spread of his religion and to support allied societies 
and charitable institutions. He is highly respected by all who know him and the 
confidence which he enjoys is well bestowed upon him, for he is a man of the 
highest qualities of mind and character, and there has never been a shadow of a 
doubt as to the righteousness or sincerity of purpose of his actions. 



ANDREW P. ANDERSON. 

Andrew P. Anderson, although a native of Norway, has been a resident of 
the United States since 185 1, when his parents located in Illinois. A few years 
later he was brought by them to Sumner township, Winneshiek county, and 
here he has ever since made his home. He now owns a valuable farm of one 
hundred and seventy acres, one hundred and sixty of which are under cultivation 
and highly improved. A modern two-story house greatly enhances the value 
of the property and adds to its prosperous appearance. Mr. Anderson was 
born in Norway, August 24, 1849, and is a son of Peter and Augusta (Olson) 
Anderson, natives of that country. The parents came to America in 1851 in 
order to profit by the opportunities which are held out on this side of the 
Atlantic to those who are willing to work. They located in Illinois, which state 
they made their home for three years before removing to Sumner township, 
Winneshiek county. Here the father died in September, 1866. The mother 
survives and makes her home with the subject of this review, being now in 
her eightv-fifth year. During all of his life the father followed agricultural 
pursuits. In their family were nine children, of whom Andrew P. was the 
oldest. The others were, Ole, Louis, Betsy, Martin, Annie, Andrus, Annie and 
Citona, all deceased. 

Andrew P. Anderson secured his education in Winneshiek county, having 
come here before he was of school age. He subsequently decided upon an 
agricultural career and engaged in that line. When he was twenty-four years 
of age he came to his present farm on section 3, Sumner township, buying sixty 
acres at that time. As his means have increased he has subsequently added 
thereto and now holds title to one hundred and seventy acres, one hundred and 
sixty of which are under a high state of cultivation. He has a most conveniently 
appointed house, modern and up-to-date in every particular, substantially con- 
structed barns, sheds and outhouses and has installed up-to-date equipment in 
order to facilitate the labor upon the place and receive the highest possible 
returns. He engages in general farming and stock-raising, following scientific 
and approved methods in obtaining results. 

On January 25, 1875, Mr. Anderson was united in marriage to Miss Ellen 
Berdahl and to this union were born eleven children : Peter, of South Dakota ; 
Anna, the wife of John Albertson, of Sumner township ; Emily and Mary, 
deceased ; Emily, the wife of C. T. Trytten, of Ridgeway, Iowa ; Iver, of Sumner 
township ; Carl, deceased ; Tilda, who married H. M. Halverson, of Lincoln 
township ; Minnie Berdina, deceased ; and Albert and Lena, at home. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 425* 

For twenty years Mr. Anderson served as road supervisor, doing much 
towards promoting good roads in this section and early recognizing the impor- 
tance of having good transportation facilities. He also served as trustee of the 
township, as constable and as president and director of the school board. He 
gives his adherence to the republican party, upholding its principles stanchly 
and endorsing its candidates. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church,, 
to which his family also give their allegiance. Coming here at an early date 
in the history of the county, Mr. Anderson has seen much of its growth and 
development and has in no inconsiderable way contributed thereto. He enjoys 
in a large measure the respect and esteem of all who know him for he is a man 
of high principles whose success has been entirely builded upon industry and 
honesty. 



JOHN CREMER. 



Farming interests of Winneshiek county find a progressive and worthy 
representative in John Cremer, who owns and operates the Cremer homestead 
of two hundred acres on section 7, Military township. His entire life has been 
spent upon this property and upon it his birth occurred July 25, 1872, his parents 
being William and Paulina (Henneke) Cremer, natives of Germany. The 
father came to America in 1847 in company with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. 
William Cremer, and their family, the other children being Henry, Mrs. Gertrude 
Fleischer, Mrs. Caroline Schultze, Mrs. Francis Holthaus and Joseph W., all of 
whom are now deceased. The family settled in Wisconsin, where the father 
of our subject remained until the spring of 1852, when he removed to Iowa, 
buying land on section 7. Military township, whereon he continued to reside until 
his death, February 16, 1889. His wife survived him several years, her death 
occurring on the 18th of February, 1900. To them were born six children: 
John, of this review ; William, a priest in Calmar, Iowa ; Frank, who resides in 
North Dakota; Mary, the wife of Peter Theland of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 
Catherine, who married A. F. Dessel of Ossian ; and Andrew, of North Dakota. 

John Cremer spent his childhood upon his father's farm, assisting with its 
operation during the summer months and in the winters attending the parochial 
schools. He has never left the homestead, which he purchased in 1901, and 
since that time he has steadily carried forward the work of its development, 
the results of his labors being evident today in its excellent condition and 
attractive appearance. He owns two hundred acres of fine land on section 7, 
Military township, and upon it engages in general farming and stock-raising, 
meeting with the success in both branches which always reward earnest and 
persistent labor when guided by sound judgment. 

On the 10th of October, 1905, Mr. Cremer was united in marriage to Miss 
Matilda Holthaus, a daughter of August and Caroline (Kleisart) Holthaus, the 
former a native of Germany and the latter of Iowa. Her parents had six children : 
Henry, a priest in Dubuque, Iowa; Joseph, a resident of Winneshiek county; 
Matilda, the wife of the subject of this review; Felix, of Washington township; 
Monica and Gustaf, who live at home. Mr. and Mrs. Cremer became the 



426 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

parents of four children: Alfred, who was born September 17, 1906; Francis, 
whose birth occurred on the 5th of December, 1907; Gregor, born July 18, 1910; 
and Victor, born January 4, 1 9 1 3 . 

Mr. Cremer is a member of the Roman Catholic church and politically gives 
his allegiance to the democratic party. In the section where he was born and 
where his entire life has been spent he is widely and favorably known, his genuine 
personal worth and high standards of integrity having gained for him the con- 
fidence and regard of all who are in any way associated with him. 



EDWARD SCHEIDEMANTEL. 

One of Winneshiek county's most progressive and successful native sons 
and one of the most substantial and prosperous farmers living in the vicinity 
of Ossian, is Edward Scheidemantel, who owns and operates one hundred and 
eighty acres of land in Military township, whereon he engages extensively in 
farming and stock-raising. He was born on the 9th of August. 1868 and is a 
son of Henry and Kunigunda (Meyer) Scheidemantel, natives of Germany, 
who came to America in 1848 and settled in Wisconsin. After two years spent 
in that state they removed to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and here the father 
engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in 1888. His wife survived 
him a number of years, dying on the 1st of November, 1911. To them were 
born eleven children: Eva, the wife of Joseph Brown, of Humphrey, Nebraska: 
William, of Clear Lake, Minnesota ; Theodore, who is engaged in farming near 
Ossian; Mary, the wife of Theodore Lamm, of Canute. Oklahoma; Clement, 
also of Canute ; Andrew, who resides in Calmar, Iowa ; Carrie, who is a nun 
in a convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin ; Henry, of Ossian ; Edward, of this 
review ; Joseph, of Winona. Minnesota : and Emilie, the wife of Julius Gernes, 
of Winona. 

Edward Scheidemantel was reared upon his father's farm and from his 
early childhood assisted with its operation, becoming in this way thoroughly 
familiar with the best agricultural methods. When he began his independent 
career he formed a partnership with his brother and they established themselves 
in the creamery business on the home farm which they operated at the same 
time, making both branches of their occupation profitable and important. For 
about ten years they continued thus but at the end of that time they sold the 
creamery business and divided the farm, Air. Scheidemantel of this review 
receiving as his portion the one hundred and eighty acres upon which he now 
resides. He engages in general farming but makes a specialty of stock-raising 
and, being at all times practical in his methods and straightforward in his 
business dealings, has met with gratifying and well deserved success. He has 
made substantial improvements upon the property, erecting at a cost of over 
seven thousand dollars a fine two-story, modern residence with nine rooms and 
a bath, and well furnished and convenient in every particular. In addition to 
this there are fine barns, outbuildings and modern machinery, and the farm 
is in all respects an excellent and well equipped property. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 429 

Air. Scheidemantel married Miss Antonia Mikesh and they have become the 
parents of seven children, Fred Philip, Alois Clemence, Leo, Ida, Adolph A., 
Arthur A. and Marcella. The family are members of the Roman Catholic 
church and Mr. Scheidemantel is connected fraternally with the Knights of 
Columbus and the Order of Foresters. His political allegiance is given to the 
democratic party and although he is not active as an office seeker he is at all times 
ready to cooperate in movements for the public good. Through his own labor, 
industry and good management he has become the owner of a valuable property 
and is widely and favorably known in his native county for his many sterling 
traits of character and his business ability. 



H. T. SANDAGER. 

Prominent as one of the foremost agriculturists of the Calmar district, owning 
a valuable farm of five hundred acres and engaged in the automobile business 
in that city, H. T. Sandager occupies a substantial position in his community. 
He is a native of Calmar township, Winneshiek county, Iowa, born January 21, 
1876, and a son of E. P. and Ragnhild (House) Sandager. E. P. Sandager, 
the father, made his home near Conover postoffice, on a farm in Calmar town- 
ship, on the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 22. He 
was born in Sogndalen, Norway, on January 20. 1826. At the age of twenty- 
four, on May 13, 1850, he left his native land to seek the opportunities of the 
western hemisphere and, crossing the Atlantic and proceeding westward, came 
to Calmar township on the nth of October, 1850. The voyage across the 
ocean was made in a sailing vessel, the trip to New York taking nine weeks 
and three days. From that city he proceeded to Buffalo and thence, via the 
Great Lakes, to Milwaukee, staying in Wisconsin three weeks. He came by 
private conveyance to Winneshiek county, being the second settler of Calmar 
township, his brother, the first man to make his home in these parts, coming 
three months previously. The father first purchased forty acres of land from 
the government, to which, by economy, industry and perseverance, he added 
until he owned nine hundred acres, comprising one of the best farms in the 
township. He was a prominent and influential man in Calmar township, widely 
known and highly respected. In 1855 he married Ragnhild Honse, born in 
Sogn, Norway, November 27, 1837, who sailed for America in April, 1853, 
the voyage consuming six weeks and three days. Landing in New York, she then 
proceeded to Illinois, which was her home for one year before coming to Calmar 
township. In their family were the following children : Peter, born June 5, 
(856; Gilbert, born March 20, 1858, who died January 18, 1892; Gertrude, born 
May 4, i860, who passed away March 24, 1886; Andrew, whose date of birth is 
August 31, 1862; Martha, born February 12, 1865; Elese, born December 16, 
1867, who died August 26, 1869; Elese, the second of the name, born May 28, 
1870; Emma R.. whose birth occurred on January 5, 1873; and Hans T., of this 
review. The father passed away on August 27. 1882, but his widow and the 
two youngest of the children are still living on the home farm. 



430 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Hans T. Sandagar was reared under the parental roof and educated in 
Calmar township, where he has always resided and is now operating the old 
home farm of five hundred acres in addition to conducting an automobile busi- 
ness in the town. In 1911 he and Theodore Skor, of whom more extended 
mention is made in another part of this work, engaged in the automobile business, 
erecting a modernly equipped garage in the main business section of Calmar. 
Their building is of brick, one story and forty by ninety feet. The firm is 
conducted under the name of Skor & Sandager and they handle exclusively 
Cadillac cars, also engaging in a general repair business. Mr. Sandager is also 
a stockholder of the Farmers Creamery Company of Calmar. A progressive 
man of the younger generation, he takes an active and helpful interest in all 
that affects the locality and is ever ready to promote worthy measures that 
will benefit the general public. A son of one of the pioneers of Calmar town- 
ship, he worthily carries forward the family traditions, adding luster to the 
family name. 



CHRISTIAN KEYSER PREUS. 

Among the foremost educational institutions of the state of Iowa, perpetuating 
the clean spirit of the mighty and righteous man whose name it bears, is the 
Luther College of Decorah, and Christian Keyser Preus as its president has done 
much to uphold the wide reputation which the institution enjoys. Moreover. 
President Preus is the vice president of the synod of the Norwegian Evangelical 
Lutheran church and as such is a power for good in preserving the sturdy faith 
in which the ancestors of his people found salvation. He follows the footsteps 
of his worthy father, who was one of the six founders of the synod and who for 
thirty-two years served as its president. 

Christian Keyser Preus was born in the Spring Prairie parsonage, twenty 
miles north of Madison, Wisconsin, on October 13, 1852. His father, Herman 
Amberg Preus. in 1853, with five other ministers, took part in the founding of 
the synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church, and becoming its 
president in 1862, served in that important office until 1804 or the time of his 
death, consecrating his life to the extension of church affairs and being a power- 
ful factor for good among his countrymen. The father was born in Christian- 
sand, Norway, on June 16, 1825, and at the age of twenty-three was graduated 
from the theological department of the University of Christiania. For several 
years he held a position as teacher at the Nissen School, Christiania, Norway, and 
also at the military school. When twenty-six years of age, in 1851, he received 
and accepted a call from Spring Prairie, Wisconsin, and other congregations in 
that state. In the same year he was married to Miss Caroline Dorothea Mar- 
garethe Keyser. From 1861 to 1868 he did valuable work in extending the influ- 
ence of the synod by editing, in company with Rev. J. A. Ottesen, the official 
organ "Maanedstidende." In 1862 he was elected president ot the synod for the 
Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church in America and as such served to his 
death, which occurred on July 2. 1894. He held, in addition to this, his first pas- 
torate at Spring Prairie until his death. 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 431 

Christian Keyser Preus was reared amid the influences of a cultured home 
in an environment conducive to the development of the highest qualities of man- 
hood. He received his early education in the public schools and by private instruc- 
tion and in 1865 came to Decorah and entered Luther College, but on account 
of illness had to discontinue his studies for about two and a half vears. In 1866-67 
he accompanied his father on a tour to Norway and in 1868 he was confirmed. 
In the fall of that year he again took up his studies at the Luther College, from 
which he was graduated with the class of 1873. The following three years he 
spent in the study of theology at Concordia Seminary at St. Louis, Missouri, 
from which he graduated in 1876 and was later in the same year ordained to the 
ministry. Thereupon he was called to be his father's assistant at the Spring 
Prairie charge. He was installed the eighth Sunday after Trinity, just twenty- 
five years after the installation of his father in the same charge. Before entering 
upon his duties at Spring Prairie, however, he had already served Our Savior's 
congregation in Chicago temporarily for two months, and after seventeen years 
he again served the same congregation, this time for about one and a half years. 

President Preus has been a stanch friend and warm supporter of the synod 
and early was recognized as a man of ability and executive force. He has served 
on various standing committees and has three times been elected vice president 
namely in 1893, 1896 and 191 1. On the two former occasions he declined the 
office, and had he accepted when first elected he would have become president, 
as his father, who was then president, died the following year. 

Rev. Preus was married in 1877 to Miss Louise Augusta Hjort, a daughter of 
Rev. Ove Jacob Hjort, then minister at Paint Creek, Allamakee county, Iowa. 
Of this union eleven children were born, of whom two daughters and five sons 
are living. The daughters, Henrietta and Kathinka, are at home. Ove, the eldest 
son, is a minister in Los Angeles, California. Carl has charge of the Norwegian 
Lutheran church at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Jacob is a commissioner of insurance 
of the state of Minnesota. Paul is employed as a bank clerk at Stanley, North 
Dakota. Ove, Carl, Jacob and Paul all are graduates of Luther College and Her- 
man, the youngest son of the family, is a student there. 

In 1897 President Preus was compelled, on account of ill health, to retire from 
the active ministry, whereupon he removed to Decorah in order to afford his 
children the best educational advantages possible. He became, in 1898, an instruc- 
tor at Luther College and in 1902, upon the resignation of Dr. Laur Larsen, then 
president, was elected to that distinguished position. President Preus has spared 
no effort to promote the welfare of the institution. He has strengthened the 
faculty during his administration and it was principally due to him that the fine 
new dormitory, Laur Larsen Hall, was erected in 1906-07 at a cost of sixty-five 
thousand dollars. In accordance with a resolution passed by the synod President 
Preus was present as a representative of Luther College at the centennial anni- 
versary exercises held in Christiania, Norway, in September, 191 1, to commem- 
orate the founding of the University of Norway. On this occasion a distinguished 
honor was conferred upon him by the sovereign, King Haakon VII, who made 
him a commander of the Royal Order of St. Olaf of the second class. That the 
work of Rev. Preus has been of inestimable value to Decorah and to the exten- 
sion of his church is apparent without further comment, and that he has con- 
tributed toward raising the standard of citizenship is evident in itself. Mr. Preus 



432 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

is not only beloved by his students and the faculty but is highly esteemed and 
respected by the general public, who esteem him as a man who through sincere 
efforts has accomplished a distinct advancement along intellectual and moral lines. 



THOMAS HENRY BURNS. 

Thomas Henry Burns, agent at Jackson Junction for the Milwaukee & St Paul 
Railroad and one of the progressive, alert and enterprising voting men of the 
community, is a native of this part of Iowa, born in Jackson township, Winne- 
shiek county, June 2$, 1880. He is a son of Thomas and Mary (O'Brien) Burns, 
the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Illinois. The father came to Iowa 
as a boy about the year 1855 and locating on the south edge of Jackson township, 
bought land upon which he resided until his death, which occurred on the 12th of 
September. 1897. His wife survives him and makes her home in Jackson Junc- 
tion. To their union were born six children : Thomas Henrv, of this review ; 
Joseph Morgan, a railroad agent at White, South Dakota; Clement F., at home; 
Mary, who is Sister Elaine in the convent of St. Pius at Chicago, Illinois ; Alice, 
of Mason City, Iowa ; and Elizabeth, at home. 

In the acquirement of an education Thomas H. Burns attended district school 
in his native township and afterward was a student in a college at Decorah. He 
turned his attention to teaching when he laid aside his books but after a short 
time took up the study of telegraphy, his first position being at Emmetsburg, 
Iowa. In 1906 he took charge of the office of the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad 
at Jackson Junction and has since remained in this capacity, having gained great 
regard and esteem at headquarters by reason of his promptness, reliability and 
energy in the discharge of his duties. 

Mr. Burns is member of the Roman Catholic church and is connected fratern- 
ally with the Knights of Columbus and the Order of Railroad Telegraphers. He 
gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and in matters of citizenship 
is helpful and progressive, cooperating heartily in movements for community 
advancement and growth. He is still a young man but already successful and in 
in his many sterling traits of character, his conscientiousness, energy and business 
ability possesses guarantees of continued progress and prosperity. 



TOHN EEMER HOVE. 



A native son of Sumner township. Winneshiek count}', born on section 12. on 
the home farm which he now owns. John Elmer Hove has taken his place among 
the younger agriculturists of his locality. He was born on the 20th of February, 
1888. and is a son of John and Ella ( Fardahl) Hove, the father a native of Win- 
neshiek county and the mother of Norway. The father died in 1897, but the 
mother still lives on the home place. To their union were born eight children : 
( 'scar, of North Dakota: Henry, of Madison township, this county; George; 
Elmer, who died in infancy; John Elmer, of this review; Lawrence, of Madison 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 433 

township ; Ida, the wife of Herman Albertson, of Sumner township ; and Amanda, 
at home. 

John Elmer Hove was reared on the home farm, attending the schools of the 
neighborhood and early acquiring a thorough knowledge of agricultural methods. 
When nineteen years of age he rented a tract of one hundred and twenty acres, 
which he cultivated for one year and then came back to the home place, compris- 
ing one hundred and three acres, to the operation of which he has since given 
his whole attention. His methods are thoroughly modern and up-to-date and the 
appearance of his fields bespeaks the prosperous condition of the farm. 

On June 23, 1907, Mr. Hove married Miss Alma Rue and to them have been 
born two children: Amos Eugene, whose natal day was July 25, 1910; and Orin 
Jerome, born February 21, 1912. 

Politically Mr. Hove is independent, giving his support to such candidates 
as he considers best adapted for the office to which they aspire. His religious 
faith is that of the Lutheran church. He is popular with old and young in his 
neighborhood, commending himself to everybody's esteem by his upright char- 
acter and his pleasant, agreeable manner. 



ANTON HAUBER. 



Anton Hauber is cultivating a valuable farm of two hundred and forty acres 
on section 1, Sumner township, this county, where he was born on July 1, 1870. 
He is a son of Joseph and Margaret (Horn) Hauber, both natives of Germany, 
who in about i860 came to America, settling shortlv thereafter in Sumner town- 
ship, Winneshiek count}', where the father engaged in agricultural pursuits, also 
following his trade, which was that of blacksmith, rioth of the parents have 
passed away. To their union were born fourteen children: Mary, the wife of 
John Miller, residing in Oklahoma ; Cieorge, of Calmar, Iowa ; Joseph, of Lincoln 
township, this county ; Charles, of Ossian, Iowa ; Catherine, deceased ; Andrew, 
of Howard county, Iowa ; a daughter who died in infancy ; Anton, of this review ; 
Annie, of Calmar, this state; Margaret, the wife of John Etteldorf, of Festina. 
Iowa; Amelia, of Seattle. Washington; Louisa, the wife of Frank Kock, of Cal- 
mar; Frances, who married Hugo Dessel, of Calmar; and Matilda, the wife of 
John Havis, of Seattle, Washington. 

Anton Hauber was reared on the home place and has always remained thereon. 
In later years he bought the property, comprising two hundred and eighty acres, 
all located on section 1, Sumner township, but has since sold forty acres. He 
engages in general farming and stock-raising, his highly cultivated fields being 
evidence of his industry, energy and resultant success. He is at present building 
a fine two-story residence and his other buildings are all modernly appointed and 
substantially constructed. 

On November 22, 1897, Mr. Hauber married Miss Mary Etteldorf, a daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Etteldorf. Mr. and Mrs. Hauber have four children: 
Alma M., born September 9, 1898; Marie R., born April 29, 1901 ; Leo H., born 
April 19, 1903; and Hugo C, born November 30, 1907. 



434 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

Mr. Hauber gives his allegiance to the democratic party, stanchly upholding 
its candidates at the polls. He is a member of the Catholic church. He has in a 
comparatively short time become one of the most substantial agriculturists of his 
district and such success as has come to him is well merited, as it is entirely due 
to his own efforts. He is highly esteemed and respected by all who know him 
and has many friends. 



HENRY FUNKE. 



Henry Funke is living practically retired upon a farm of forty acres in 
Military township, his period of leisure and rest following many years of prom- 
inent and active identification with agricultural interests of that part of Win- 
neshiek county. He was born in Germany on the 4th of April, 1853, and is a 
son of Clemence and ( iertrude ( Feller) Funke, also natives of that country. The 
father came to America in June, 1853, and settled first in St. Louis. Missouri, 
whence in 1854 he came to Iowa, locating in Washington township, Winneshiek 
county, where he engaged in farming for some time. In 1865 he removed to 
Military township and here made his home until his death on the 6th of June. 
1884. His widow survives him and lives near Festina in Winneshiek county. 
To them were born ten children: Henry of this review: William, who is oper- 
ating the old homestead farm in Military township ; Clemence, steward at the 
•county poor house: Mary, the wife of Frank Dessel of California; Lizzie, who 
married Joseph Fox of Norfolk, Nebraska; Herman, of Cottonwood. Idaho; 
Annie, the widow of Louis Freirch of Ossian ; John, also of Cottonwood, Idaho; 
Josephine, who married A. Holthaus of Washington township, Winneshiek 
county ; and Gertrude, who has passed away. 

Henry Funke spent his childhood upon his father's farm and throughout the 
period of his boyhood and youth assisted with its operation, continuing to aid 
his father until he was twenty-five years of age. He became a practical and 
able agriculturist and in 1878 purchased land of his own, buying eighty acres in 
Springfield township and turning his attention to its cultivation. This work he 
steadily carried forward until 1887, when he purchased two hundred and ninety- 
five acres in Military township. Upon this he made substantial improvements, 
erecting barns and outbuildings and installing modern machinery and making 
it altogether one of the finest farms in the vicinity. His labors through the years 
were rewarded by a substantial measure of success and he accumulated a com- 
fortable competency, enabling him eventually to retire from active life. He still 
resides upon forty acres of his farm but the remainder has been divided among 
his sons, who are ably carrying forward the work of its cultivation. Mr. Funke 
is a director in the Silver Springs Creamery Company of Ossian and in that city 
is known as a resourceful and enterprising business man as well as a public- 
spirited and progressive citizen. 

In 1878 Air. Funke married Miss. Maggie Eggstuler, who passed away in 
1894, leaving nine children: Maggie, the wife of Castro Buchied, of Washington 
township; Annie, who is in a convent at La Crosse, Wisconsin; Barbara, also 
a nun in the convent at La Crosse; Mary, who lives at home: Henrv W., who is 




HENRY FUNKE 




GERTRUDE FUNKE 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 439 

engaged in farming; Albert H., at home; Herman C. and Otilda, also at home; 
and Agnes, a nun in the convent at La Crosse. 

Mr. Funke is a member of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally is con- 
nected with the Catholic Order of Foresters. Politically he gives his allegiance 
to the democratic party and is interested and active in public affairs, especially 
those relating to public education. Along this line he has done a great deal of 
constructive and beneficial work as treasurer of school district No. 3, a position 
which he now holds and which he is filling with signal ability. In Military 
township his name is known as a synonym for business and personal, integrity, 
for industry, honesty and straightforward dealing, and he commands and holds 
the confidence and regard of all who are in any way associated with him. 



PETER L. ANDERSON. 

Among the younger agricultural fraternity of Winneshiek county is Peter 
L. Anderson, a native of South Dakota, who owns a valuable farm property on 
sections 2 and 11, Sumner township. His birth occurred on October 25, 1882, 
and he is a son of Louis P. and Ellen Albertson, both natives of Norway, who 
upon coming to America located in Winneshiek county on sections 2 and 11, 
Sumner township. Later the father was for two years in South Dakota in 
order to test out its agricultural possibilities but subsequently returned to this 
county. He died in January, 1908, being survived by his wife, who now makes 
her home in Ridgeway. He followed agricultural pursuits during all his life 
and was in a large measure successful. In their family were nine children: 
Ida, the wife of Henry L. Ellingson, of South Dakota; Peter, our subject; 
Henry, of Madison township, this county; Sievert, Edwin and Alfred, all of 
whom reside in South Dakota; Emma, of Ridgeway, Iowa; and Elsie and Anton, 
at home. 

Peter L. Anderson was reared under the parental roof and early grounded in 
the old-fashioned virtues of honesty and industry by his worthy parents. He 
spent his early years upon his father's farm, becoming acquainted with the minor 
duties upon the home place under the latter's guidance. Upon leaving the farm 
he engaged in the restaurant business in Ridgeway, and continued in it for about 
a year, at the end of which time he rented land. After renting for about three years 
he bought one hundred and twenty acres in Lincoln township, where he farmed for 
four years and then sold the property, subsequently acquiring title to the one 
hundred and forty-six acres on sections 2 and 11, Sumner township, which he 
now farms. He is progressive in his methods and brings to his work a ready 
understanding of the principles involved in modern agriculture. He carries on 
general farming and stock-raising and obtains gratifying results along both 
lines. His fields are highly cultivated and his buildings kept well in repair, 
giving evidence of the practical spirit of the owner. 

On September 1, 1906, Mr. Anderson was united in marriage to Miss Mabel 
Fjulstul and to this union have been born three children: Edric, whose birth 
occurred in January, 1908; a daughter who died in infancy; and Eldis, born 
April 29, 1913. 

Vol. II— 20 



440 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

In his political affiliations Mr. Anderson is a republican and is ever deeply 
interested in the general welfare although he has never aspired to public office. 
His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church and he is otherwise interested 
in all matters which make for the moral and intellectual betterment of the people. 
He is a young man of agreeable manner, frank and open, and has therefore 
made many friends who esteem him highly. 



THEODORE SKOR. 



One of the younger business men of Calmar, Theodore Skor conducts a highly 
successful automobile business and garage in that city, deriving gratifying financial 
returns from his enterprise. His birth occurred at Calmar on April 3, 1880, his 
parents being Andrew and Sarah Skor, natives of Norway. The father, upon 
coming to America, located at an early date near Algona, Iowa, later coming to 
Calmar and engaging in railroading, following that occupation during most of 
his life, passing away in 1895. The mother is still living and makes her home with 
the subject of this sketch. 

Theodore Skor was reared under the parental roof and acquired his educa- 
tion in the schools of Calmar. Laying aside his text books, he learned the car- 
penter trade and followed that occupation until 1910, when in partnership with 
H. T. Sandager he erected a spacious and up-to-date garage and engaged in the 
automobile business. At present they are the only local firm handling Cadillac- 
cars and do a large and satisfactory business along that line. 

Mr. Skor gives his attention largely to his business, but still he has found time 
to make his public spirit effective as a member of the local town council. Politic- 
ally he is a republican, and his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. A 
young man with a future before him, Mr. Skor's success is a pleasant indication 
of his coming achievements, and shows that prosperity will be his. He has suc- 
cessfully embarked in a line which promises good results and today stands on 
the threshold of a career that will not only establish him in financial independence, 
but will prove an important factor in the further commercial expansion of Calmar 
and Winneshiek county. 



HERMAN J. BUSCH. 



Herman J. Busch is widely and favorably known in commercial circles of 
Calmar as partner in the grocery business conducted under the name of The H. 
J. Giesen Company, in which he has been a partner since 1912. He is a native 
of Calmar, Winneshiek county, being born in September, 1876, and a son of 
Herman and Agnes (Holthaus) Busch, the father a native of Germany and 
the mother of Winneshiek county. The father came to America in 1869 and 
located in this county, purchasing a farm in Calmar township which' he cleared 
and improved and has operated ever since with continuing success. He is 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 441 

highly esteemed in his neighborhood, where he now lives upon his property at the 
age of seventy-two years, the mother having passed away in 1879. 

Herman J. Busch was reared under the parental roof and in the acquire- 
ment of his education attended the public schools of Calmar, remaining upon 
the father's farm until twenty-seven years of age, assisting in the operation and 
management of the property. At that time he engaged in the saloon business in 
Calmar, operating an establishment of that kind for seven years, at the end 
of which time he disposed of his interests and became a partner of H. J. Giesen 
in the grocery business in April, 1912. As Mr. Giesen now gives his attention 
largely to the real-estate business, Mr. Busch has taken charge of the manage- 
ment of the store and by close attention to business and his winning personality 
is continually drawing new trade to the establishment. 

On June 22, 1905, Mr. Busch was united in marriage to Miss Caroline 
Nockels, a daughter of Frank and Caroline (Budke) Nockels, residents of 
Calmar. Mr. and Mrs. Busch have two children : Evelyn A., aged seven ; and 
Cletus H., about three years of age. 

Public-spirited and progressive, Mr. Busch takes an active interest in all 
movements undertaken to better local conditions, although he is not an office 
seeker. He gives his allegiance to the democratic party and his religious faith 
is that of the Catholic church. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of 
Columbus, being affiliated with the lodge at Waukon, Iowa. Mr. Busch owns 
a handsome residence in Calmar, where both he and his wife hospitably enter- 
tain their many friends. Both are prominent in the younger social set of the 
town, where they are well liked and highly esteemed for their many good 
qualities of mind and character. 



LAURIZE KENT LARSON. 

Laurize Kent Larson is carrying on general farming and stock-raising on a 
fine property of two hundred and forty acres in Military township, constituting 
the homestead upon which he was born and on which his entire life has been 
spent. He is numbered among the most progressive and able agriculturists of 
this part of Winneshiek county and. although still a young man, has gained a 
high place among the men of marked ability and substantial worth in the com- 
munity. He was born September 5, 1880, and is a son of Knut 11. and Matilda 
Larson, the former born in Norway in January, 1822. He came to America in 
1849 and after spending one year in Wisconsin came to Winneshiek county, 
where he engaged in farming until his death, which occurred September 17, 
1888. He and his wife became the parents of seven children: Laura, who lives 
at home; John F., who is engaged in farming; Laurize Kent, of this review; 
Anton L., who lives at home; Gustave, who is connected with the Milwaukee 
& St. Paul Railroad ; Martin, and Henry. 

Laurize Kent Larson was reared at home and from his childhood assisted 
his father with the work of the farm. He has spent has entire life upon the 
homestead and in 1911 assumed control of the property, owning today two 
hundred and forty acres of well improved and valuable land. Upon this he 



442 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

engages in general farming and stock-raising and by his practical methods, his 
straightforward business dealings, his industry and well directed labor has 
made both branches important and profitable. 

Mr. Larson married, on the 12th of September, 191 1, Miss Levida Kiel, a 
daughter of Ole Kiel and one of a family of seven children, as follows: Herman, 
who resides in North Dakota; Elbert, of Minnesota; Julius, who lives at home; 
Leonard, Agnes and Olga, also at home ; and Levida, the wife of the subject 
of this review. Mr. and Mrs. Larson have one son, Laurize Arnold, born in 1912. 

Mr. Larson is a member of the Lutheran church and politically gives his 
allegiance to the republican party. In the community where he was born and 
where his entire life has been spent he is widely and favorably known, having 
in the course of his upright and honorable career gained recognition as a sub- 
stantial and progressive farmer and a public-spirited and loyal citizen. 



TOSEPH T. HEROLD. 



Joseph J. Herold farms one hundred and sixty acres on section 10, Sumner 
township, where he makes his home in a commodious house which he has 
erected. As the years have passed he has come to be regarded as one of the 
substantial farmers of his neighborhood and his success is the more creditable 
as it has come to him through his own efforts. He was born in Sumner town- 
ship, Winneshiek county, June 28, 1857, and is a son of Bernard and Mary 
(Lubold) Herold, natives of Germany, who came to America in 1846 in order 
to profit by the larger opportunities of this country. The parents located in 
New York, where they made their home for eight years. Imbued with the 
western spirit, they journeyed across the country, making for the middle west and 
finding a desirable location in Sumner township, this county. The father was 
a carpenter by trade but in Winneshiek county gave his entire time to farming. 
He has now passed away and the mother is also dead, her demise having 
occurred in [891. To their union were born thirteen children: Regina and 
Henry, deceased ; Elizabeth, the wife of Louis Peckle, of Austin, Minnesota ; 
Andrew, of Jackson township ; John, of North Dakota ; Katherina, who married 
J. Garsner, of Polk county, Minnesota; George, of. Cottonwood county, that 
state; Joseph T., our subject; Minnie, the wife of J. Miller, of Pocahontas county, 
Iowa ; Clements, of Spillville, this state ; Fred, of Hazleton ; and two who died 
in infancy. 

Toseph J. Herold was reared under the care of his parents and received his 
education in the country schools of Winneshiek county. The father early taught 
him thorough agricultural methods and after laying aside his text-books he 
remained at home and worked upon the home farm until he was twenty-six 
years of age, when he took a string of horses to North Dakota. Returning, he 
bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 10, in Sumner township, where 
he erected a fine home, substantial barns and sheds and also provided such 
other equipment as is considered indispensable to modern farming. He engages 
in general farming and stock-raising, giving careful attention to both lines of 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 443 

endeavor. As the years have passed he has attained success and is recognized 
as one of the substantial men of his township. 

On September 21, 1887, Mr. Herold was united in marriage to Miss Margaret 
Baker and to this union have been born four children : Benjamin Bernard, 
born May 15. 1889; Mamie Agnes, whose birth occurred on the 15th of August, 
1893; Emma Katherine, born March 27. 1895; and Gertrude Celia, born July 
12, 1897. 

In his political affiliations Mr. Herold is a democrat and now serves as 
township trustee and school director. He is a member of the Catholic church, 
in which faith his family has been reared. In promoting his own interests he 
has done much toward bettering agricultural standards and improving general 
conditions and his labors have been of importance in the development of his 
township and county. 



GEORGE HAAS. 



George Haas, who for the past twenty-seven years has owned and operated 
his present fine farm of one hundred and ninety-six acres on sections 21 and 22. 
Tackson township, has contributed during that period in substantial measure to 
the agricultural development of his native state of Towa and has taken his place 
among the most substantial farmers and farsighted business men of Winneshiek 
county. He was born in Allamakee county, on the 17th of March, 1862, and is 
a son of Joseph and Julia ( Ramstein) Haas, natives of Germany, who came to 
America about the year 1852, locating in St. Louis, where they spent four years. 
At the end of that time they moved to Allamakee county, Iowa, and there from 
pioneer times until his death on August 30, 1900, the father engaged in farming. 
becoming well and favorably known throughout his locality. His wife survived 
him several years, dying in Mankato. Minnesota, April 25. 1913. To their union 
were born thirteen children, the three eldest of whom died in infancy. The others 
are as follows : Joseph, who died in early manhood; Lawrence, of Hamar, North 
TDakota; George, of this review; Ferdinand, who lives in Wilmont, Minnesota: 
Mary, the wife of Henry Shulte. of Axtell, Kansas ; Matilda, who makes her home 
in Williston, Montana; Julia, the wife of Mr. Bray, also of Williston; Henry, 
living in Waukon, Iowa ; Charles J., of French Creek township, Allamakee county ; 
and Catherine, who married Joseph Shultes, of Wilmont, Minnesota. 

George Haas spent his childhood upon his father's farm in Allamakee county, 
aiding in its operation and becoming thoroughly familiar with the best agricultural 
methods. He remained at home until he was twenty-four years of age and then, 
in the fall of 1886, came to Winneshiek county, locating on the farm whereon he 
has since resided. The property lies on sections 21 and 22, Jackson township, and 
comprises one hundred and ninety-six acres of well cultivated land, upon which 
Mr. Haas engages in general farming and stock-raising, substantial success reward- 
ing his well directed labors through the years. He makes a specialty of breeding 
Chester White hogs and shorthorn cattle and this branch of his business is impor- 
tant and profitable, his animals commanding a high price and a ready sale upon 
the market. 



444 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

On the nth of May, 1886, Mr. Haas was united in marriage to Miss Julia A. 
Hoffman, and they have become the parents of four children : Loretta, the wife of 
C. D. Eastman, of Fargo. North Dakota; George, who is cashier in a hank at 
Detroit, Minnesota; and Agnes and Joseph, both at home. 

.Mr. Haas is a devout member of the Roman Catholic church and he gives his 
political allegiance to the democratic party. He has been honored by his fellow 
citizens by election to various official positions of trust and responsibility, dis- 
charging his duties as school director, township trustee and city assessor in a way 
which has reflected credit alike upon his ability and his public spirit. For more 
than a quarter of a century he has made his home within the borders of Winne- 
shiek county, during all of which time he has resided on the farm which he now 
occupies, and he has come to be known as a man of tried integrity and worth, 
commanding by reason of his upright and honorable life the respect, confidence 
and esteem of all who know him. 



EM BRET E. CLEMENT. 

One of the foremost agriculturists of Springfield township, Winneshiek county. 
Embret E. Clement owns a valuable farm of one hundred and ninety-six acres 
on section I and has also distinguished himself in official township positions, 
rendering valuable services to his community. A native of Wisconsin, he was 
born August 22, 1845, a "d is a son of Eric and Gurie ( Engebretson ) Clementson, 
natives of Norway. The father upon coming to this country located in Wiscon- 
sin, where he bought eighty acres of land near Muskego lake and spent nine 
years in the operation of the same. He then sold out and removed to Winne- 
shiek county. Iowa, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in 
Springfield township and devoted himself to the task of clearing and improving 
this property. He later acquired an additional forty acres adjoining and con- 
tinued in the operation of his farm for the remainder of his life. The year of 
bis birth was 1801 and he passed away in 1898, being over ninety-six years of age 
at the time of his demise. The mother, who was born in 1802, died in 1X70 
at the age of sixty-eight. 

Embret E. Clement was but five years of age when his parents removed to 
Winneshiek county and received his education in the district schools near his 
father's farm and Breckenridge Institute in Decorah. He always remained on 
the home farm and from his father learned thorough methods of agriculture, be- 
coming early acquainted with farm work. In 1892 he purchased the home place 
and has ever since operated the same, its area being one hundred and ninety- 
six acres and the exact location in the southwest quarter of section 1, Springfield 
township. Mr. Clement has made valuable improvements since taking charge, 
has erected substantial buildings and installed such machinery as is considered 
indispensable to intensive farming as it is understood today. Success has at- 
tended his labors and his farm now presents an aspect of prosperity. 

In July, 1869, Mr. Clement was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Egge, a 
daughter of Anders and Helene Egge. natives of Norway, who left the land 
of their birth for America, the father successfully following agricultural pur- 



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Si 

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PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 447 

suits in Frankville township. Mr. and Mrs. Clement became the parents of 
four children: Eric, an agriculturist of South Dakota; Lena, the wife of John 
Viste, who farms in Frankville township ; Edgar, who operates his father's 
farm; and Elizabeth, who passed away in 1888. 

As prosperity has come to him Mr. Clement has made judicious investments 
and is a stockholder today in the Nordness Creamery Company, the Nordness 
Telephone Company and the Farmers Hog Company of Decorah. He gives his 
political adherence to the republican party, ever upholding the candidates and 
measures of that organization, and has efficiently served as township clerk, town- 
ship assessor and also as road supervisor. His religious faith is that of the 
Lutheran church and the Christian principles to which he gives his adherence 
permeate his everyday actions. He is public-spirited and progressive, combining 
the sturdy qualities of a sturdy race with American enterprise and aggressive- 
ness, and the success that has come to him is highly merited. Not only has he 
brought about his individual prosperity but has been a serviceable factor in the 
agricultural growth of his locality, in the upbuilding of which he has partici- 
pated to a laudable extent. He is therefore highly respected and esteemed and 
receives in full measure the confidence and good-will of all who know him. 



GEORGE W. KUHN. 



George W. Kuhn successfully carries on general agricultural pursuits on one 
hundred and forty-five acres located on section 34, Sumner township, Winne- 
shiek county, where he follows general farming and stock-raising. He was born 
on this place on May 12, 1880, a son of George and Josephine (Novotny) Kuhn, 
the former a native of Germany and the latter of Bohemia. The father upon 
coming to America located upon the home farm, where he is still living. He gave 
all his active life's labors to agricultural pursuits and obtained a gratifying measure 
of success along that line. To him and his wife were born five children : Joseph 
P., at home; Mary, deceased; Anton, of Jackson Junction; Josephine, the wife 
of Math Ludwig, of Elma ; and George W., of this review. 

George W. Kuhn was reared under the parental roof and in the acquirement 
of an education attended school near the farm. After laying aside his schoolbooks 
he remained at home, giving his attention to farming and becoming thoroughly 
acquainted with the methods of tilling the soil. At the age of twenty-four his 
father deeded him the home place, comprising one hundred and forty-five acres, 
and he has since operated the same independently, dividing his attention between 
general farming and stock-raising. His buildings are kept well in repair and his 
land presents a good appearance, giving evidence of the industry of the owner 
and the good judgment which he uses. 

On November 22, 1904, Mr. Kuhn was united in marriage to Miss Mary 
Kopet and they have become the parents of four children : Mary, who was born 
January 2, 1906; Hugo, born November 19, 1908; Celia, born June 16, 1910; and 
Vera, born February 6, 1912. 

Mr. Kuhn is a democrat in his political affiliations and upholds the principles 
of his party in county, state and national elections, although in local matters he 



448 PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 

casts his vote for the man whom he considers best adapted for the office. Although 
he is public-spirited he has never cared to accept official honors. He and his 
family are members of the Catholic church and he also belongs to the Catholic 
Association. The son of a pioneer, he worthily carries on the tradition of an hon- 
ored name in this section and has earned for himself a reputation which is a 
high credit to him. 



HERMANN J. MASSMANN. 

Hermann J. Massmann, engaged in general fanning upon one hundred and 
eighty-five acres of land in Winneshiek county, near Ossian, was born in Ger- 
many, 011 the 3d of March, 1866, and is a son of Gerard and Christina (Relt) 
Massmann, also natives of that country, both of whom have passed away. To 
their union were born eight children : Gerard, who makes his home in Germany ; 
Barney, also a resident of the fatherland; Lizzie, who married Gerard Stein- 
bach, of Alberta, Canada; Annie, who lives in Germany: Hermann ]., of this 
review; and Mary. Katie and Antone, who have passed away. 

Hermann J. Massmann acquired his education in the public schools of his 
native country and there remained until he was twenty-one vears of age. At that 
time he crossed the Atlantic to America, making his way immediately to Iowa and 
settling in Winneshiek county, where he turned his attention to farming. About 
1892 he purchased eighty-five acres of land and has since added one hundred 
acres to his holdings, his land lying on sections 29 and 32, Military township. Upon 
this he has made substantial improvements, erecting a fine two story residence, 
good barns and outbuildings and installing the necessary machinery. He engages 
in general farming and stock-raising and, being an able and practical agriculturist, 
has made both branches of his business profitable. 

Mr. Massmann married Miss Katie Kleve, and they have become the parents 
of six children, Henry, Antone, Felix, William, Frank and Mary, all of whom live 
at home. Mr. Massmann is a member of the Roman Catholic church and politi- 
cally gives his allegiance to the democratic party. He is interested in the growth 
and development of the section where he resides, but his attention has largely 
been given to his business affairs and in their capable management he has met with 
gratifying success. 



TOHN M. HEROLD. 



John M. Herold was born in Sumner township, Winneshiek county, April 21, 
1857. He has always followed agricultural pursuits and now owns a farm of two 
hundred and thirty-five acres on sections 22 and 23, Sumner township, which is 
one of the most valuable properties in this district, highly improved and well 
under cultivation. He is a son of Michael and Margaret ( Calener) Herold, both 
natives of Germany. They came to America about 1848, locating in New York, 
where they remained for eight years before coming to Winneshiek county. The 



PAST AND PRESENT OF WINNESHIEK COUNTY 449 

father passed away in 1887 and the mother in 1892. To them were born eight 
children : Andrew, deceased ; Henry, who makes his home in Oklahoma ; a daugh- 
ter who died in infancy; Barney, of Nebraska; George, deceased; Phillip, of 
Howard county, this state; Michael, of Minnesota; and John M., of this review. 

The last named was reared and grew to manhood upon the home farm, acquir- 
ing his education in the country schools and early learning thorough agricultural 
methods. At the age of twenty-five he took charge of the home place of two 
hundred and twenty acres and for about ten years operated this farm. He then 
sold out and acquired title to his present farm, comprising two hundred and thirty- 
five acres on sections 22 and 23, Sumner township. He engages in general farm- 
ing and stock-raising, making a specialty of black polled cattle. Mr. Herold is 
one of the most progressive agriculturists of his district and such success as has 
come to him is entirely due to his persistent labors, his good judgment and his 
thorough understanding of agricultural matters. 

Mr. Herold was twice married, his first wife being Rosie Pater, who has passed 
away. Of this union were born four children : Wilhelmina, the wife of A. A. 
Mikish, of Calmar township; Charles, of North Dakota; John, a farmer of Sum- 
ner township; and Michael, at home. After the death of his first wife Mr. 
Herold married Miss Katherina Kuhn and to them have been born eight children : 
Theodore, Louis, Rosie and Hubert, at home ; Paulina, deceased ; and Frank, Mary 
and Amelia, at home. 

Mr. Herold is a democrat and has served for a number of years as township 
trustee. He also was a school director, doing all in his power during his term to 
improve the educational facilities of his district and elevate the school system. 
He is a member of the Catholic church, in which faith his family has also been 
reared. Mr. Herold is a public-spirited citizen, thoroughly imbued with American 
ideals and ever ready to give his support to worthy public enterprises. He enjoys 
the confidence and respect of his friends and neighbors and is a forceful factor 
in his locality in the promotion of progress and advancement. 



MICHAEL F. TUPY. 



Michael F. Tupv owns one hundred and fifteen acres on sections 25 and 26 in 
Sumner township, to the cultivation of which he has given his whole attention 
for a number of years. That success has come to him is evident from the pros- 
perous appearance of his farm. He was bo